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Cognitive idiosyncrasies among children with the Chronic Fatigue Research (CFS): anomalies in self-reported activity levels

  [ 35 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
www.ProHealth.com • September 6, 1996


The possibility that children with the chronic fatigue
syndrome (CFS) and their parents tend to display idiosyncratic
cognitive processing concerning levels of activity was
examined by means of subjective and objective measures of
current activity, together with subjective and objective
measures of desired and expected future activity. The degree
to which subjective reports of current activity level reflect
objectively measured activity level was examined in a group
of children with CFS and a healthy control group. All
subjects were assessed over a 3-day period by means of
ambulatory activity monitoring, and self-reports and
parent-reports of current activity level were collected by
means of visual analog scales. Analysis of variance revealed
a significant interaction between the method of measurement
(objective versus subjective) and the participant group (CFS
versus Healthy) with the CFS children and their parents
underestimating actual level of activity relative to the
healthy group. Desired and expected levels of future activity
were also assessed by means of subjective report. Child and
parent expected levels of future activity were compared with
their desired levels. Although expected levels of future
activity were similar in the two groups, the divergence
between expected levels and corresponding desired levels was
significantly greater in the CFS group. These results are
discussed in terms of idiosyncratic cognitive processes,
which are hypothesized to be associated with CFS and which
may play a role in the maintenance of the disorder.

Fry AM, Martin M




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