Discriminating between chronic fatigue syndrome and depression: a cognitive analysis


Moss-Morris, Rona and Petrie, Keith J. (2001) Discriminating between chronic fatigue syndrome and depression: a cognitive analysis. Psychological Medicine, 31, (3), 469-479. (doi:10.1017/S0033291701003610).

Download

[img]
Preview
PDF - Publishers print
Download (174Kb)

Description/Abstract

Background: chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and depression share a number of common symptoms and the majority of CFS patients meet lifetime criteria for depression. While cognitive factors seem key to the maintenance of CFS and depression, little is known about how the cognitive characteristics differ in the two conditions.

Methods: fifty-three CFS patients were compared with 20 depressed patients and 38 healthy controls on perceptions of their health, illness attributions, self-esteem, cognitive distortions of general and somatic events, symptoms of distress and coping. A 6 month follow-up was also conducted to determine the stability of these factors and to investigate whether CFS-related cognitions predict ongoing disability and fatigue in this disorder.

Results: between-group analyses confirmed that the depressed group was distinguished by low self-esteem, the propensity to make cognitive distortions across all situations, and to attribute their illness to psychological factors. In contrast, the CFS patients were characterized by low ratings of their current health status, a strong illness identity, external attributions for their illness, and distortions in thinking that were specific to somatic experiences. They were also more likely than depressed patients to cope with their illness by limiting stress and activity levels. These CFS-related cognitions and behaviours were associated with disability and fatigue 6 months later.

Conclusions: CFS and depression can be distinguished by unique cognitive styles characteristic of each condition. The documented cognitive profile of the CFS patients provides support for the current cognitive behavioural models of the illness.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0033-2917 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Psychology > Division of Human Wellbeing
ePrint ID: 40278
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2006
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:25
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/40278

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics