Table of Contents
ISRN Nursing
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 838930, 5 pages
Research Article

Physicians' Perceptions and Practices Regarding Patient Reports of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Department of Psychology, James Madison University, MSC 7704, Harrisonburg, VA 22807, USA

Received 11 June 2011; Accepted 7 July 2011

Academic Editors: T. Bradshaw, B. Roberts, and A. B. Wakefield

Copyright © 2011 Pamela Reed Gibson and Amanda Lindberg. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ninety physicians practicing in the state of Virginia USA completed a mail survey regarding Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). Survey questions addressed demographics; familiarity with MCS; etiology; overlapping conditions; accommodations made for patients and practices regarding evaluation, treatment, and referral. A little over half of respondents were familiar with MCS. Under a third had received any medical training regarding chemical sensitivity, only 7% were “very satisfied” with their knowledge, and 6% had a treatment protocol for the condition. Participants cited a range of etiologies and overlapping conditions including asthma, Reactive Airway Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS), Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), Chronic Fatigues Syndrome (CFS), and Fibromyalgia. Physicians infrequently considered chemicals as a cause of illness when seeing new patients. Evaluation techniques included interviews, blood work, immune profiles, and allergy testing. Interventions recommended included chemical avoidance, alterations in the home environment, diet restrictions, the use of air filters, and referrals to outside specialists.