The differential response of chronic fatigue, neurotic & muscular dystrophy patients to experimental psychological stress

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A group of patients suffering from chronic fatigue (CF) attending a

medical clinic were compared with a group of muscular

dystrophy (MD) patients from the same clinic and a psychiatric

control (PC) group who were attending a psychiatric unit. A

checklist was used to assess the patients’ subjective physical

and psychological state before and after exposure to a

psychological stressor [a 20 minute anagram task]. For both

physical and psychological symptoms the CF group had the

largest response, the PC group was intermediate, and the MD

group had the least response. Explanations may involve

physiological arousal and attentional focusing.

Wood GC, Bentall RP, Gopfert M, Dewey ME, Edwards RH

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