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Neuropsychological functioning, illness perception, mood and quality of life in chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune thyroid disease and healthy participants

Dickson, A.; Toft, A.; O'Carroll, R. E.

Authors

A. Dickson

A. Toft

R. E. O'Carroll



Abstract

BACKGROUND: This study attempted to longitudinally investigate neuropsychological function, illness representations, self-esteem, mood and quality of life (QoL) in individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and compared them with both healthy participants and a clinical comparison group of individuals with autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD).

METHOD: Neuropsychological evaluation was administered at two time points, five weeks apart. Twenty-one individuals with CFS, 20 individuals with AITD and 21 healthy participants were matched for age, pre-morbid intelligence, education level and socio-economic status (SES). All groups also completed measures of illness perceptions, mood, self-esteem and QoL at both time points.

RESULTS: The CFS group showed significantly greater impairment on measures of immediate and delayed memory, attention and visuo-constructional ability, and reported significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression. After controlling for the effects of mood, the CFS group still demonstrated significant impairment in attention. The CFS group also reported significantly lower self-reported QoL than the AITD and healthy participants. In terms of illness perceptions, the AITD group believed that their condition would last longer, that they had more treatment control over their condition, and reported less concern than the CFS group.

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the primary cognitive impairment in CFS is attention and that this is not secondary to affective status. The lower treatment control perceptions and greater illness concerns that CFS patients report may be causally related to their affective status.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jan 15, 2009
Publication Date 2009-09
Deposit Date Jan 13, 2012
Journal Psychological Medicine
Print ISSN 0033-2917
Electronic ISSN 1469-8978
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 39
Issue 09
Pages 1567
DOI https://doi.org/10.1017/s0033291708004960
Keywords Applied Psychology; Psychiatry and Mental health
Public URL http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/id/eprint/4881
Publisher URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291708004960