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23.08.2017 | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

International Journal of Behavioral Medicine 1/2018

Cross-Cultural Study of Information Processing Biases in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Comparison of Dutch and UK Chronic Fatigue Patients

Zeitschrift:
International Journal of Behavioral Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2018
Autoren:
Alicia M. Hughes, Colette R. Hirsch, Stephanie Nikolaus, Trudie Chalder, Hans Knoop, Rona Moss-Morris
Wichtige Hinweise
Hans Knoop and Rona Moss-Morris Joint last authors

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to replicate a UK study, with a Dutch sample to explore whether attention and interpretation biases and general attentional control deficits in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are similar across populations and cultures.

Method

Thirty eight Dutch CFS participants were compared to 52 CFS and 51 healthy participants recruited from the UK. Participants completed self-report measures of symptoms, functioning, and mood, as well as three experimental tasks (i) visual-probe task measuring attentional bias to illness (somatic symptoms and disability) versus neutral words, (ii) interpretive bias task measuring positive versus somatic interpretations of ambiguous information, and (iii) the Attention Network Test measuring general attentional control.

Results

Compared to controls, Dutch and UK participants with CFS showed a significant attentional bias for illness-related words and were significantly more likely to interpret ambiguous information in a somatic way. These effects were not moderated by attentional control. There were no significant differences between the Dutch and UK CFS groups on attentional bias, interpretation bias, or attentional control scores.

Conclusion

This study replicated the main findings of the UK study, with a Dutch CFS population, indicating that across these two cultures, people with CFS demonstrate biases in how somatic information is attended to and interpreted. These illness-specific biases appear to be unrelated to general attentional control deficits.

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