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Does it matter what you call it? Lay beliefs for overcoming chronic fatigue syndrome, myalgic encephalomyelitis, and post-viral fatigue syndrome

McDermott, MR and Bendle, C and Griffin, M and Furnham, A (2016) 'Does it matter what you call it? Lay beliefs for overcoming chronic fatigue syndrome, myalgic encephalomyelitis, and post-viral fatigue syndrome.' Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 18 (2). 150 - 162. ISSN 1559-4343

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Abstract

The study reported here examines variation in beliefs about how best to overcome a health complaint when it is nominally designated in one of 3 different ways, namely, as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), or as post.viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS). In a repeated measures design, the participant sample (n = 140) was presented with an adapted version of Knapp and Karabenick's (1985) questionnaire which asks respondents to rate the degree to which single-item coping strategies would be most useful for overcoming each of the 3 designated complaints. Factor analysis of the coping items produces 3 groups of items as belief components: "self-reliance," "seeking help," and "external control." The chronic fatigue syndrome appellation invoked significantly higher scores on the self-reliance factor and on external control than did the other two diagnostic labels. However, seeking help was considered to be the most important strategy for overcoming all three of the designated incarnations of the condition. In conclusion, "chronic fatigue syndrome" is the linguistic construction that bestows the most beneficial outlook for assisting individuals to overcome this complaint. Thereby, the use of this descriptor in current medical nomenclatures arguably is well placed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: chronic fatigue, post-viral, myalgic encephalomyelitis, lay beliefs
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2017 09:57
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2018 09:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/19314

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