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Communication of health in experimentally sick men and women: A pilot study
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden; University Hospital Essen, Germany.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
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2018 (English)In: Psychoneuroendocrinology, ISSN 0306-4530, E-ISSN 1873-3360, Vol. 87, p. 188-195Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The way people communicate their ill-health and the factors involved in ill-health communication remain poorly known. In the present study, we tested how men and women communicate their sickness and assessed whether sickness-related variables (i.e., body temperature, immune response, subjective sickness symptoms) predicted communicative behaviors. Twenty-two participants were filmed during experimentally induced sickness, triggered by lipopolysaccharide administration (2ng/kg body weight), and after placebo administration, in presence of female care providers. Two trained raters scored participants' communicative behaviors (verbal complaints, moaning and sighs/deep breaths). The physiological and subjective sickness responses were similar in both sexes. Participants were more likely to moan and complain when sick, although the frequency of these behaviors remained low and no clear sex differences was observed. Nevertheless, frequency of sighs/deep breaths was increased amongst sick men but not in women. Sickness-related variables did not predict sigh/deep breath frequency. In this setting, sick men appear to display a lower threshold of expressing their malaise as compared to similarly sick women.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 87, p. 188-195
Keywords [en]
Sickness, Health communication, Sex, Lipopolysaccharide
National Category
Neurosciences Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-150785DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2017.10.024ISI: 000418968300023PubMedID: 29102898OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-150785DiVA, id: diva2:1170818
Available from: 2018-01-04 Created: 2018-01-04 Last updated: 2018-02-05Bibliographically approved

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