The impact of catastrophic beliefs on functioning in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

This study investigated the association between catastrophic beliefs
and disability in the context of Chronic fatigue syndrome
(CFS). A sample of 282 CFS sufferers were asked about the
consequences of pushing themselves beyond their present
physical state. Responses were coded into catastrophic or
non-catastrophic categories. While not differing on the length
of illness or psychological adjustment, subjects demonstrating
catastrophic responses evidenced significantly higher levels
of fatigue and were more disabled in terms of their ability to
work both in their normal occupation and around the house.
Catastrophizers also showed greater disability in terms of
their sleep and rest, social communication, and recreational
activities. The role of catastrophic beliefs and personal
perceptions of CFS in maintaining the illness is discussed.

MCM: Criteria for "catastrophizing" include "I'd end up
totally bed-ridden" or"highly exaggerated negative outcomes
or the worst possible outcome far beyond what may be
ordinarily expected even in the context of the CFS illness."

Petrie K, Moss-Morris R, Weinman J

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