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Significant other behavioural responses and patient chronic fatigue syndrome symptom fluctuations in the context of daily life: an experience sampling study

Significant other behavioural responses and patient chronic fatigue syndrome symptom fluctuations in the context of daily life: an experience sampling study
Significant other behavioural responses and patient chronic fatigue syndrome symptom fluctuations in the context of daily life: an experience sampling study
Objective: Significant other responses to patients’ symptoms are important for patient illness outcomes in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS/ME); negative responses have been associated with increased patient depression, whilst increased disability and fatigue have been associated with solicitous significant other responses. The current study aimed to examine the relationship between significant other responses and patient outcomes within the context of daily life.

Design: Experience Sampling Methodology (ESM).

Method: Twenty-three patients with CFS/ME and their significant others were recruited from specialist CFS/ME services. Sixty momentary assessments, delivered using individual San Francisco Android Smartphones, were conducted over a period of 6 days. All participants reported on affect, dyadic contact, and significant other responses to the patient. Patients reported on symptom severity, disability, and activity management strategies.

Results: Negative significant other responses were associated with increased patient symptom severity and distress reported at the same momentary assessment; there was evidence of a potentially mediating role of concurrent distress on symptom severity. Patient-perceived solicitous responses were associated with reduced patient activity and disability reported at the same momentary assessment. Lagged analyses indicate that momentary associations between significant other responses and patient outcomes are largely transitory; significant other responses were not associated with any of the patient outcomes at the subsequent assessment.

Conclusion. The results indicate that significant other responses are important influences on the day-to-day experience of CFS/ME. Further research examining patient outcomes in association with specific significant other behavioural responses is warranted and future interventions that target such significant other behaviours may be beneficial.
chronic fatigue syndrome, experience sampling methodology, significant others, responses
1359-107X
1-16
Band, Rebecca
be8901bb-bb1b-4131-8e19-c1d4a3bdfb8d
Barrowclough, Christine
bc8a2cfa-c710-4f40-8603-3e1e674adb0c
Emsley, Richard
befe7b94-728c-47aa-84db-4f066d5f4836
Machin, Matthew
4e6e65b2-9146-4fee-a85b-15da71d32feb
Wearden, Alison
57425d54-35b4-450e-8deb-ab18cd7016dc
Band, Rebecca
be8901bb-bb1b-4131-8e19-c1d4a3bdfb8d
Barrowclough, Christine
bc8a2cfa-c710-4f40-8603-3e1e674adb0c
Emsley, Richard
befe7b94-728c-47aa-84db-4f066d5f4836
Machin, Matthew
4e6e65b2-9146-4fee-a85b-15da71d32feb
Wearden, Alison
57425d54-35b4-450e-8deb-ab18cd7016dc

Band, Rebecca, Barrowclough, Christine, Emsley, Richard, Machin, Matthew and Wearden, Alison (2015) Significant other behavioural responses and patient chronic fatigue syndrome symptom fluctuations in the context of daily life: an experience sampling study. British Journal of Health Psychology, 1-16. (doi:10.1111/bjhp.12179).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objective: Significant other responses to patients’ symptoms are important for patient illness outcomes in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS/ME); negative responses have been associated with increased patient depression, whilst increased disability and fatigue have been associated with solicitous significant other responses. The current study aimed to examine the relationship between significant other responses and patient outcomes within the context of daily life.

Design: Experience Sampling Methodology (ESM).

Method: Twenty-three patients with CFS/ME and their significant others were recruited from specialist CFS/ME services. Sixty momentary assessments, delivered using individual San Francisco Android Smartphones, were conducted over a period of 6 days. All participants reported on affect, dyadic contact, and significant other responses to the patient. Patients reported on symptom severity, disability, and activity management strategies.

Results: Negative significant other responses were associated with increased patient symptom severity and distress reported at the same momentary assessment; there was evidence of a potentially mediating role of concurrent distress on symptom severity. Patient-perceived solicitous responses were associated with reduced patient activity and disability reported at the same momentary assessment. Lagged analyses indicate that momentary associations between significant other responses and patient outcomes are largely transitory; significant other responses were not associated with any of the patient outcomes at the subsequent assessment.

Conclusion. The results indicate that significant other responses are important influences on the day-to-day experience of CFS/ME. Further research examining patient outcomes in association with specific significant other behavioural responses is warranted and future interventions that target such significant other behaviours may be beneficial.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 19 November 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 24 December 2015
Keywords: chronic fatigue syndrome, experience sampling methodology, significant others, responses
Organisations: Psychology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 385505
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/385505
ISSN: 1359-107X
PURE UUID: f92813ff-8427-4869-a6a1-b8073b83b265
ORCID for Rebecca Band: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5403-1708

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Date deposited: 20 Jan 2016 12:19
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:23

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Contributors

Author: Rebecca Band ORCID iD
Author: Christine Barrowclough
Author: Richard Emsley
Author: Matthew Machin
Author: Alison Wearden

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