2002, Number 5
Salud Mental 2002; 25 (5)
Buela-Casal G, Santos-Roig M, Carretero-Dios H, Cachinero J
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ABSTRACTThe relationships between body and mind has always been acknowledged not only in daily life experience but in a most purely scientific way. The possibility that in the origin of certain diseases, psychological factors, such as stress, could be involved, has been demostrated, as well as the fact that psychological variables could explain the permanence of certain diseases such as asthma (concerning asthmatic crisis), cancer and others, or even contribute to worsen theses conditions.
Psychoimmunology has been interested in all these aspects, and so, has demonstrated the existence of a two-way relationship between body and mind, and also the usefulness of applying this knowledge to the field of health.
Among the studies accomplished in this field are those that try to determine what psychological variables differ in subjects that suffer certain diseases, and most of all if these differences could explain the development of the disease or if they are only a consequence of such disease that affect psychological health.
The present study does not intend to encompass this great objective, but rather, is focused on the study of individual differences regarding allergy. Our study was carried out in 228 adult subjects; 22 of them were olive tree pollen allergic and the remaining 206 not allergic.
The study was quasi-experimental and transversal and its objective was to prove if there were any differences between groups (allergic as compared to not allergic) in the scores given to various psychological tests that were assessing three psychological variables; Social Anxiety, General Anxiety and Personality. In regard to Social Anxiety, the results indicate that there are differences between groups in scores obtained on the scales that assess it (Fear to Negative Evaluation Scale and Avoid and Social Anxiety Scale). The results for General Anxiety are the same for both scales of STAI and for the subscale Extrovertion and Neuroticism of the Eysenck´s Personality Questionnaire (EPQ-A). Finally, it is concluded that the differences found between groups in the two tests (STAI and EPQ-A) are related to social components that should be considered in future researchs