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Jason 2010 Illness duration and coping style in chronic fatigue syndrome

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by shrewsbury, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. shrewsbury

    shrewsbury member

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    Fred Springfield posted this to CO-CURE today

    [if: I can't find the abstract on-line. I guess one of the things I love about Jason is research that proves what should be,IMO, the obvious]

    Illness duration and coping style in chronic fatigue syndrome.

    Journal: Psychological Reports, 106,383-393. doi: 10.2466/PR0.106.2.383-393

    Authors: Brown, M. M., Brown, A. A., & Jason, L. A. (2010).

    Affiliation: Center for Community Research, DePaul University


    Summary:

    A sample of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome was recruited to assess coping strategies and illness duration.

    It was hypothesized that adaptive coping strategies would be higher among those with longer illness duration.

    Those in the longer illness duration group reported higher use of active coping, positive reframing, planning, and acceptance, and lower use of behavioral disengagement than those in the shorter illness duration group. No significant differences were found between the two illness duration groups for physical impairment or symptom severity, but the long duration group revealed a lower percentage of participants who were working than the short duration group.

    These findings suggest that individuals with longer or shorter duration of the illness have differences in coping styles but not differences in physical impairment or symptom severity.
  2. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Interesting.

    CFS research is so difficult to do well, especially if you're focusing on the psychological and behavioural side. I'd not thought of Jason's explanation for soe of the other behavioural results we've seen, but it does make sense. I really think that a lot of the psychologisers are just being geuninely misled by their own interpretations of the available data rather than being actively corrupt. Once you've started believing that CFS patients have distorted thoughts and beliefs which make them ill, it's easy to find data that fits with that assumption - but it's far from the only explanation. It's easy to find data showing that any group of people are mentally disturbed - but broadly, we recognise that there's a moral requirement to assume that groups of people should not be assumed to be disturbed unless there is overwhelming evidence that this is the case. With CFS, because of our ill health, we are not granted that basic level of respect.
  3. shrewsbury

    shrewsbury member

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    Actually Esther, I don't see how they can ignore, what is it now, over 5,000 research articles on the biophysical nature of ME/CFS. I don't know if I'd use the word 'corrupt', perhaps incompetent?

    I have respect for psychologists like Jason who keep informed of the biophysical research.
  4. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Since some researchers still believe bad coping is a cause of CFS I think its interesting that people with long duration CFS are actually doing more active coping than people with short duration CFS. This suggests to me that people pick up 'coping skills' as their illness proceeds - which is exactly what you would think would happen - as they try more and more things over time.

    I'm not surprised that coping must not effect 'physical impairment' but I must say that I am surprised that 'coping' did not at least reduce symptom severity.
  5. cfs since 1998

    cfs since 1998 *****

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    Agree completely and it clearly contradicts the Wessely school.

    Why would you expect coping to reduce the symptoms of a biological illness?
  6. gracenote

    gracenote All shall be well . . .

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    For me, my illness has gotten progressively worse, while my learned coping skills allow me to live with these challenges in a more manageable way.
  7. V99

    V99 *****

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    Esther12

    The data does not fit that assumption. Simply, it is impossible to design a study which would be capable of proving that assumption.
  8. Hope123

    Hope123 Senior Member

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    Dr. Jason does amazing work as usual. For those who do not know, Dr. Jason has CFS himself (this is public info from an article where the New York Times interviewed him) and used his formidable research skills as an already established professor of psychology to study CFS.

    I'd say this article rings true for me. I've developed coping skills that I did not have before due to this illness but in no way have they improved my symptoms and in some ways, my illness is worse over the years. This is not unusual for any chronic illness. Studies on resilience show that many people often return to a similar level of happiness as they had prior to the tragedy in their lives (whether devastating illness, injury, divorce, etc.) over time although there are obvious changes in their life.

    Also, as I've mentioned before, certain folks with the "psychologizer" school either have to have incredibly short memories and cognitive issues or are willfully ignoring their own studies. Peter White and Simon Wesseley both have published articles showing biological changes in people with CFS but they don't highlight this work at all. In fact, other scientists read their studies and use it to build on their own biological studies of CFS.
  9. fingers

    fingers Senior Member

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    OK, if Im reading that correctly, as one's illness progresses, one doesn't get physically better, but one feels psychologically better by looking at things differently. Also, the longer one is ill, the less likely it is that one will be productive.

    So, as time goes on, although in the early stages we do our darndest to get out of bed in the morning and go and mix it in the jungle, we finally get so knackered that this becomes impossible. But we become more philosophical at the same time.

    Absolutely stunning bit of research.

    Next?

    Sorry, IF, was that your point?

    F
  10. shrewsbury

    shrewsbury member

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    Actually fingers - I was trying to say, that while this would just seem to be common sense to anyone who knows that ME/CFS is a biophysical disease, no research had been done on the topic to date. And others are trying to say that there is a lack of coping strategies in ME/CFS, and this, along with bad beliefs, leads to a worsening of symptoms - and all that other psychobabble based on absolutely no research, just career-saving/expansionism.

    I think Jason is brilliant to recognize this, do the research into coping strategies, and show that coping strategies develop over time, with short-term strategies being different from long-term ones. But for both long and short term, coping strategies make no difference whatsoever to the severity of the disease.

    Now there is research to point to when this is said.
  11. V99

    V99 *****

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    Islandfinn

    I completely agree with your assessment of Jason.

    It's also the kind of research that should have been done years ago.
  12. fingers

    fingers Senior Member

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    Thanks IF, sorry to be so slow.
    F
  13. shrewsbury

    shrewsbury member

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    hey fingers - it was probably me. I am not that articulate these days. And you are not what I'd call slow.

    And haven't you heard - we have a no apologies necessary about aspects of having ME/CFS philosophy here - with a very strict enforcer (although you might be lucky and she may be taking a bit of a break).
  14. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

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    I do think Fingers had a point.

    It is definitely good that Jason has seen the need to research this issue. I think he was sage here.

    Yet- it does point to how easily some really stupid ideas get accepted as 'fact' just because they are published in peer review journals in the first place: and why a critical evaluation of those claims should be part of the 'scientific' process. We should not have to rely on one piece of research published: the idea 'CFS'ers can't cope was fundamentally flawed to begin with.

    And don't even get me started on the problem of how 'coping styles' are social constructs that are then measured according to the researcher's subjective agenda which might include psychologists fallacies (I'm not referring to Jason here, but to whoever decided 'coping styles' could be measured either validly or reliably....!!!!!)
  15. BEG

    BEG Senior Member

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    Our own Leonard Jason - From Co-Cure

    Illness duration and coping style in chronic fatigue syndrome.

    Journal: Psychological Reports, 106,383-393. doi: 10.2466/PR0.106.2.383-393

    Authors: Brown, M. M., Brown, A. A., & Jason, L. A. (2010).

    Affiliation: Center for Community Research, DePaul University


    Summary:
    A sample of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome was recruited to assess coping strategies and illness duration.

    It was hypothesized that adaptive coping strategies would be higher among those with longer illness duration.

    "Those in the longer illness duration group reported higher use of active coping, positive reframing, planning, and acceptance, and lower use of behavioral disengagement than those in the shorter illness duration group. No significant differences were found between the two illness duration groups for physical impairment or symptom severity, but the long duration group revealed a lower percentage of participants who were working than the short duration group.

    These findings suggest that individuals with longer or shorter duration of the illness have differences in coping styles but not differences in physical impairment or symptom severity."


    I don't know whether to say thank you for the validation or Huh?:confused::confused: Well, anyway, congratulations to the group for proving their hypothesis, but you can't prove it by me. Maybe they were very careful to eliminate those with a progressive illness? And include those with a very gradual onset? In my view, that would be the only way to achieve "(no) differences in physical impairment or symptom severity" between the two groups. OK, people with long-term CFS - get out of bed, off your couches and go to work. Mr. Jason and others IMPLY that you can.

    I hope if I'm ever face to face with another disability judge, he hasn't read this article.
  16. creekfeet

    creekfeet Sockfeet

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    Granted I'm having a really hard time reading anythign right now but doesn't this say that the long-duration people had better coping skills and yet were less likely to be working? Which says to me that no matter who well you learn to cope as the disease drags on, your good coping skills are not going to make it possible for you to work. Which seems to me to be true.
  17. BEG

    BEG Senior Member

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    Hi creekfeet,

    How about I reversed his name in the title and can't fix it!? Now there's a working brain.

    I would fully agree with you, but the point they make is there were no differences in impairment or disease severity. That's what confuses me so.
  18. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    You can edit titles somehow - I think there's an 'advanced' button somewhere? (edit - just tried it - click on 'Go Advanced' once you've started editing your post.)

    This paper got mentioned yesterday too - there's a thread about. The abstract seemed interesting to me. Psychological Reports has a pretty low impact rating though, so I'm not sure it will be widely read.
  19. creekfeet

    creekfeet Sockfeet

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    Argh, all we need is more confusing things. xP Yeah... granted coping skills improve over time and granted ability to work does not improve but hell yes, severity increases. *headscratch*
  20. shrewsbury

    shrewsbury member

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    hi BE G and others

    Esther is right - this was posted in the ME/CFS research section

    S/he is also right that you when editing the 1st post of a thread you can 'go advanced' and edit the title - but whenever I've doen that, it shows up when the thread is clicked on, but not on the "today's posts" list of titles. I think an administrator can fix it though.

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