An assessment of prospective memory retrieval in women with chronic fatigue syndrome using a virtual-reality environment: an initial study

Article


Attree, E., Dancey, C. and Pope, Alison L. 2009. An assessment of prospective memory retrieval in women with chronic fatigue syndrome using a virtual-reality environment: an initial study. CyberPsychology & Behavior. 12 (4), pp. 379-385.
AuthorsAttree, E., Dancey, C. and Pope, Alison L.
Abstract

People with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) have increased rates of depression, anxiety, and illness intrusiveness;
they may also suffer from cognitive problems such as retrospective memory (RM) deficits and concentration
difficulties that can stem from diminished information-processing capability. We predicted that this
diminished capacity may also lead to deficits in other cognitive functions, such as prospective memory (ProM).
Event-, time-, and activity-based ProM was assessed in 11 women with CFS and 12 healthy women using a
computer-generated virtual environment (VE). RM was assessed using a free-recall test, and subjective assessment
of both ProM and RM was assessed by questionnaire. Groups were equivalent in age and measures of IQ.
People with CFS performed slightly worse than healthy controls on both the event- and time-based ProM
measures, although these were not statistically significant. However, the CFS group performed significantly
worse than the healthy controls on both the free recall-task and on subjective assessment of both RM and ProM.
Women with CFS do have some subtle decrements in memory, particularly RM. However, it is possible that the
decrements found in the present sample would be greater in real life. Further studies utilizing both healthy
controls and illness controls are now needed to ascertain how sensitive the VE measure is and to inform the
development of tasks in the VE that place progressively increasing demands on working memory capacity.

Keywordschronic fatigue syndrome; depression; concentration difficulties; information-processing capability; severe fatigue; cognitive impairment
JournalCyberPsychology & Behavior
Journal citation12 (4), pp. 379-385
ISSN1094-9313
Year2009
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-ND
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/cpb.2009.0002
http://hdl.handle.net/10552/1132
Publication dates
Print2009
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Jan 2011
Additional information

Citation:
Attree, E.A.; Dancey, C.P.; Pope, A.L. (2009) 'An Assessment of Prospective Memory Retrieval in Women with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Using a Virtual-Reality Environment: An Initial Study.' CyberPsychology & Behavior 12 (4) pp.379-385..

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