Miss Laura Driesen
Laura is a Module Lead and a Teaching Fellow on the Postgraduate and Undergraduate Certificates in Advanced Practice in Psychological Well-being.
Laura is a qualified Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner and Psychodynamic Counsellor. She has experience of working within mental health services in the NHS and private practice.
Prior to working in mental health, Laura worked in clinical research and training management within the Pharmaceutical industry; setting up and monitoring clinical trials in a range of therapeutic areas.
Social and occupational functioning are important for psychological health. However, quantitative research has suggested that these areas can be adversely affected by multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). This systematic review therefore sought to explore what qualitative research has suggested about how people with MCS perceive it to affect their social and occupational functioning.
Journal articles were included if they were 1) peer reviewed 2) qualitative or mixed methods 3) published in English 4) reported qualitative findings relevant to the review. Studies were excluded if they were 1) descriptive only 2) primarily concerned with environmental intolerances other than chemicals or 3) focussed on specific populations such as veterans. Quality was assessed using the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE, 2018) qualitative quality criteria. However, quality was not used to determine eligibility for inclusion. Six databases (CINAHL, Medline, PsychArticles, PsychInfo, Scopus and Web of Science) were searched between the 24th of February 2019 and 2nd of March 2019.
Having removed duplicates, database searches identified 388 potential articles. Thirteen of these articles were eligible for inclusion. Following review, no more articles were included from the reference lists of these studies. Meta-aggregation of the findings identified seven categories. These were synthesised into three themes; ?limited access?, ?loss & anxiety? and ?seeking engagement?.
The findings suggested that MCS limits some people's social and occupational functioning. The results warrant further research, and, the development of prevention and intervention strategies. Studies predominantly recruited United States and Canadian females and had several limitations.