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Attention processes in chronic fatigue syndrome: attentional bias for health-related threat and the role of attentional control

Attention processes in chronic fatigue syndrome: attentional bias for health-related threat and the role of attentional control
Attention processes in chronic fatigue syndrome: attentional bias for health-related threat and the role of attentional control
Cognitive behavioural models of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) propose that attention processes, specifically, enhanced selective attention to health-threat related cues, may play an important role in symptom maintenance. The current study investigated attentional bias towards health-threat stimuli in CFS. It also examined whether individuals with CFS have impaired executive attention, and whether this was related to attentional bias. 27 participants with CFS and 35 healthy controls completed a Visual Probe Task measuring attentional bias, and an Attention Network Test measuring executive attention, alerting and orienting. Participants also completed self-report measures of CFS and mood symptoms. Compared to the control group, the CFS group showed greater attentional bias for health-threat words than pictures; and the CFS group was significantly impaired in executive attention. Furthermore, CFS individuals with poor executive attention showed greater attentional bias to health-threat related words, compared not only to controls but also to CFS individuals with good executive attention. Thus, this study revealed a significant relationship between attentional bias and executive attention in CFS: attentional bias to threat was primarily evident in those with impaired executive attention control. Taking account of individual differences in executive attention control in current intervention models may be beneficial for CFS.
0005-7967
9-16
Hou, R.H.
470bdcbc-93a9-4dad-aac5-26d455c34376
Moss-Morris, R.
73877cc9-a2a8-46b2-bd0f-0651a15b6aaf
Risdale, A.
81c08887-4dd4-4732-b2d3-3d1b755386da
Lynch, J.
b5b05bcd-7370-4c5b-b1d4-1b4c74d47065
Jeevaratnam, P.
64a018a9-967d-4fe3-bd04-b65a866ddab5
Bradley, B.P.
bdacaa6c-528b-4086-9448-27ebfe463514
Mogg, K.
5f1474af-85f5-4fd3-8eb6-0371be848e30
Hou, R.H.
470bdcbc-93a9-4dad-aac5-26d455c34376
Moss-Morris, R.
73877cc9-a2a8-46b2-bd0f-0651a15b6aaf
Risdale, A.
81c08887-4dd4-4732-b2d3-3d1b755386da
Lynch, J.
b5b05bcd-7370-4c5b-b1d4-1b4c74d47065
Jeevaratnam, P.
64a018a9-967d-4fe3-bd04-b65a866ddab5
Bradley, B.P.
bdacaa6c-528b-4086-9448-27ebfe463514
Mogg, K.
5f1474af-85f5-4fd3-8eb6-0371be848e30

Hou, R.H., Moss-Morris, R., Risdale, A., Lynch, J., Jeevaratnam, P., Bradley, B.P. and Mogg, K. (2014) Attention processes in chronic fatigue syndrome: attentional bias for health-related threat and the role of attentional control. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 52, 9-16. (doi:10.1016/j.brat.2013.10.005).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Cognitive behavioural models of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) propose that attention processes, specifically, enhanced selective attention to health-threat related cues, may play an important role in symptom maintenance. The current study investigated attentional bias towards health-threat stimuli in CFS. It also examined whether individuals with CFS have impaired executive attention, and whether this was related to attentional bias. 27 participants with CFS and 35 healthy controls completed a Visual Probe Task measuring attentional bias, and an Attention Network Test measuring executive attention, alerting and orienting. Participants also completed self-report measures of CFS and mood symptoms. Compared to the control group, the CFS group showed greater attentional bias for health-threat words than pictures; and the CFS group was significantly impaired in executive attention. Furthermore, CFS individuals with poor executive attention showed greater attentional bias to health-threat related words, compared not only to controls but also to CFS individuals with good executive attention. Thus, this study revealed a significant relationship between attentional bias and executive attention in CFS: attentional bias to threat was primarily evident in those with impaired executive attention control. Taking account of individual differences in executive attention control in current intervention models may be beneficial for CFS.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 14 October 2013
e-pub ahead of print date: 24 October 2013
Published date: January 2014
Organisations: Clinical Neuroscience

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 360104
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/360104
ISSN: 0005-7967
PURE UUID: 71af050c-2d31-42f3-ad8e-1eb42666ffb8
ORCID for B.P. Bradley: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2801-4271

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 26 Nov 2013 11:29
Last modified: 17 Sep 2019 01:01

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Contributors

Author: R.H. Hou
Author: R. Moss-Morris
Author: A. Risdale
Author: J. Lynch
Author: P. Jeevaratnam
Author: B.P. Bradley ORCID iD
Author: K. Mogg

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