BEWARE OF HEALTH QUESTIONNAIRES OR SURVEYS
noun \ˌnō-ˈsē-(ˌ)bō\ (Medical Dictionary)
Medical Definition of NOCEBO
: a harmless substance that when taken by a patient is associated with harmful effects due to negative expectations or the psychological condition of the patient
Recently, a number of references have been released that lay the blame on those having health problems from wind turbines.
References claim people are ill because of negative personalities; they are frightened (fright factors); maybe they make it up; maybe they suffer from a negative orientated neurotic personality (NOP) traits (Neuroticism, Negative Affectivity and Frustration Intolerance); or they have a communicated disease called “nocebo”.
They claim that the mere power of suggestion from reading a newspaper or searching the Internet can make you get sick from wind turbines!
Examples of these references
1. The influence of negative oriented personality traits on the effects of wind turbine noise by Jennifer Taylor, Carol Eastwick, Robin Wilson, Claire Lawrence, from the UK from the Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering; Department of Architecture and the Built Environment; and the School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
Quotes: “However, the fact that actual noise was not related to symptom reporting highlights the important finding that symptom reporting appears to be strongly associated with individual differences in negative oriented personality traits.
2. Can Expectations Produce Symptoms from Infrasound Associated With Wind Turbines? by
Fiona Crichton, George Dodd, Gian Schmid, Greg Gamble, and Keith J. Petrie from University of Auckland, New Zealand
Conclusions: “Healthy volunteers, when given information about the expected physiological effect of infrasound, reported symptoms that aligned with that information, during exposure to both infrasound and sham infrasound. Symptom expectations were created by viewing information readily available on the Internet, indicating the potential for symptom expectations to be created outside of the laboratory, in real world settings. Results suggest psychological expectations could explain the link between wind turbine exposure and health complaints.”
This language is tantamount to suggesting that acousticians, engineers, government officers, teachers, lawyers, health care professionals and others reporting symptoms are not able to distinguish between fact and fiction. Why would toddlers cry tugging at their ears and fall over as if with vertigo? Why do kids vomit regularly as if dizzy and nauseated? Why do people abandon their homes? Why do others sleep in their basements with mattresses against the walls or in a tent or their car to escape the noise? Can the power of suggestion be that strong for so many?
And there’s more…
3. Spatio-temporal differences in the history of health and noise complaints about Australian wind farms: evidence for the psychogenic, “communicated disease” hypothesis.
by Simon Chapman, Alexis St George, Karen Waller, Vince Cakic, from Australia.
“Conclusions: In view of scientific consensus that the evidence for wind turbine noise and infrasound causing health problems is poor, the reported spatio-temporal variations in complaints are consistent with psychogenic hypotheses that health problems arising are “communicated diseases” with nocebo effects likely to play an important role in the aetiology of complaints.”
4. Fright factors about wind turbines and health in Ontario newspapers before and after the Green Energy Act by Benjamin Deignan, Erin Harvey & Laurie Hoffman-Goetz from the School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo,Waterloo, ON, Canada
“Conclusion Ontario newspaper articles on wind turbines and health contained a large number of fright factors, especially ‘dread’ and ‘poorly understood by science’, which both increased in frequency after the introduction of a major policy initiative and occurred more often in community relative to national/provincial newspapers. The information presented in mass media can affect public opinion related to wind turbines and influence the acceptance or resistance to renewable energy technology programmes in Ontario and potentially elsewhere.
This article suggests: that other methodological approaches (for example, surveys or interviews) will be necessary to make inferences and predications about the effects of exposure to fright factors in the media on public perceptions on health risks from wind turbines.”
Can we trust any questionnaire or survey?
The well known tactics of blaming the victim or ‘it’s all in your head’ are back. Remember when people testified during the Green Energy Act hearings April 15, 2009? See page G 547 of Hansard, Standing Committee on General Government, April 15, 2009.
Before deciding to participate in ANY questionnaire or survey, read the questions carefully. .
Questions on fear or feeling fearful – example 9. Fearful (from University of Waterloo Research Chair study.
Look for terms such as “windmills” – these are industrial wind turbines and anyone who calls them windmills is downplaying what they truly are.
Look for questions that could label you as anti-wind or anti-green such as did you go to protests, are you in the media, are you visible on the internet such as blogs or Facebook.
Look for questions about your attitude or how you feel about your view or whether you are in favour of or against wind turbines.