Long-term follow-up of psychological distress, social functioning, and coping style in treated and untreated patients with solvent-induced chronic toxic encephalopathy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Patients with organic solvent-induced toxic encephalopathy (TE) (n = 13) were followed up seven years after the application of an intervention program. They were also compared with untreated TE patients diagnosed at the same time (n = 26) and with unexposed referents (n = 39). Psychological distress, social function, and coping ability and style were measured with the Symptom Checklist-90, Interview Schedule of Social Interaction, and Sense of Coherence and Strategies to Handle Stress questionnaires. Both TE groups had unchanged function in neuropsychological tests. Members of the treated group had improved their social functioning and reduced their mental stress but were not any better than the untreated patients. Compared with referents, the TE patients continued to live with increased psychological distress and used predominantly emotionally focused strategies to cope with their problems. This can be a cause for concern in family life and can also make gainful work impossible.


  • Gunnel Åbjörnsson
  • Birgitta Pålsson
  • Ulf Bergendorf
  • Björn Karlson
  • Kai Österberg
  • Lena Seger
  • Palle Örbaek
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-807
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Publication categoryResearch