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Clin Neuropsychol. 2001 May;15(2):210-27.

Intraindividual variability in cognitive performance in persons with chronic fatigue syndrome.

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Department of Psychology, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada.


Studies of cognitive performance among persons with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) have yielded inconsistent results. We sought to contribute to findings in this area by examining intraindividual variability as well as level of performance in cognitive functioning. A battery of cognitive measures was administered to 14 CFS patients and 16 healthy individuals on 10 weekly occasions. Analyses comparing the two groups in terms of level of performance defined by latency and accuracy scores revealed that the CFS patients were slower but not less accurate than healthy persons. The CFS group showed greater intraindividual variability (as measured by intraindividual standard deviations and coefficients of variation) than the healthy group, although the results varied by task and time frame. Intraindividual variability was found to be stable across time and correlated across tasks at each testing occasion. Intraindividual variability also uniquely differentiated the groups. The present findings support the proposition that intraindividual variability is a meaningful indicator of cognitive functioning in CFS patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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