[Note: For background on trials involving the cognition and clarity measures Leavitt and Katz developed with a focus on assessing fibromyalgia patients’ cognitive functioning, click HERE.]
Mental fog is a core symptom of fibromyalgia. Its definition and measurement are central to an understanding of fibromyalgia-related cognitive disability. The Mental Clutter Scale was designed to measure mental fogginess.
In an exploratory factor analysis of two different samples (number = 128 and number = 170), cognitive symptoms of fibromyalgia loaded on 2 dimensions: cognition and mental clarity.
The mental clarity factor comprised 8 items with factor loadings greater than .60 and was named the Mental Clutter Scale.
[Note: This measure involves patients self reporting on the frequency of 8 clarity/fog-related factors experienced in the past week, on a scale from 1 (not at all) to 10 (all the time). These factors are: ‘spaciness’, looking at life through a haze, confusion, cluttered thinking, fogginess, rushing thoughts, fuzzy headedness, and information overload.]
The factor stability of the new scale was good, internal consistency was .95, and test-retest reliability over a median of 5 days was .92.
The 8-item scale is a quick measure of mental fog that provides clinicians with information about cognitive functioning in fibromyalgia.
Source: Psychological Reports, Oct 2012;1`09(2):445-52. PMID:22238851, by Leavitt F, Katz RS. Department of Behavioral Sciences and Section of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Rush Medical College, Chicago, Illinois, USA. [Email: firstname.lastname@example.org]