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J Occup Environ Med. 2004 Aug;46(8):818-27.

Gulf War veterans' illnesses: a pilot study of the relationship of illness beliefs to symptom severity and functional health status.

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Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, Washington 98108, USA.


This investigation describes the illness beliefs of veterans regarding their Gulf War-related health concerns and investigates the relationship of these illness beliefs to physical and mental health functioning. Gulf War veterans (N = 583) presenting for evaluation at a Veteran's Affairs and Department of Defense facility completed self-report measures of symptom-related beliefs, psychosocial distress, and functional status. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were performed to determine the extent that symptom-related beliefs impacted symptom-reporting and functional status independent of demographic factors and psychiatric illness. Several beliefs predicted physical symptom reporting and functional impairment in physical health and mental health domains after controlling for demographic variables and psychiatric illness. Gulf War veterans' illness beliefs may impact clinical outcomes. Discussing illness beliefs and providing accurate information is an important component of medical care for Gulf War veterans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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