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J Psychosom Res. 2008 Jul;65(1):47-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2008.03.008.

Attentional bias towards health-threat information in chronic fatigue syndrome.

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School of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom.



To investigate whether individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) show an attentional bias towards health-threat information.


Attentional bias (AB) was assessed in individuals with CFS and healthy controls using a visual probe task which presented health-threat and neutral words and pictures for 500 ms. Self-report questionnaires were used to assess CFS symptoms, depression, anxiety, and social desirability.


Compared to a healthy control group, the CFS group showed an enhanced AB towards heath-threat stimuli relative to neutral stimuli. The AB was not influenced by the type of stimulus (pictures vs. words).


The finding of an AB towards health-threat information in individuals with CFS is supportive of models of CFS which underlie cognitive behavior therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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