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Psych-lobby on manoeuvres?

Bob

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I'm not sure if this is the right sub-forum to post this in, but the timing seems highly coincidental to me...


The Most Popular Terms for Medically Unexplained Symptoms: The Views of CFS Patients

Federica Picariello, Sheila Ali, Rona Moss-Morris, Trudie Chalder
February 28, 2015
Journal of Psychosomatic Research
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2015.02.013

Highlights
  • We assess the top preferences of CFS patients for an alternative umbrella term to MUS.
  • The most popular choices across the rankings were: Persistent Physical Symptoms and Complex Physical Symptoms.
  • According to CFS patients, a term has to reflect the physical experience of MUS.
  • Nomenclature is vital to appropriately reflect conditions and to avoid misshaping opinions of HCPs and the public

Abstract
Objective

Medically unexplained symptoms are common, highly distressing and are often associated with profound disability. One of the controversies surrounding this area relates to which umbrella term should be used to group such symptoms. The purpose of this research was to establish the preferences of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) for an umbrella term for medically unexplained symptoms.

Methods
A cross-sectional mixed methods survey design was used. Participants were asked to indicate their three most preferred terms out of a list of commonly used terms and to provide any extra comments. Frequency analysis was employed to look at the preferences of terms for each rank. Comments were analysed using principles of inductive thematic analysis.

Results
Eighty-seven patients with CFS completed a self-report survey. The term “Persistent Physical Symptoms” was the most popular first choice term chosen by 20.7% of patients. Terms containing the word “physical” were consistently more likely to be chosen. Three main themes emerged from the thematic analysis: 1) Physical nature of the illness, 2) Stigma, and 3) Evaluation of the terms, giving a more in-depth understanding of the findings.

Conclusion
According to CFS patients, an umbrella term has to reflect the physical experience of MUS.
 
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Bob

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I can't work out why it's been published - the abstract suggests that it's simply a small patient survey...

Note that, in the survey, they asked about alternative names for 'MUS', which is a psychiatric umbrella term - They aren't asking specifically about CFS. So, they've asked CFS patients to voice their opinions in relation to abstract technical terminology in the field of psychiatry.

As a general observation, it's interesting to note that 'CFS' comes under the umbrella 'MUS', whereas other diseases of unknown cause don't. (e.g. MS or Parkinson's.)
 
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Aurator

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The paper would more honestly be named:
"The least unpopular terms for medically unexplained symptoms among a carefully chosen group of CFS patients who don't know us very well and whom we hoodwinked into thinking that by MUS we mean something other than a somatisation disorder."
 

Dolphin

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For a Moss-Morris and Chalder paper, I thought this was reasonably reported and less annoying than a lot of their output. I'm not saying there were no annoying bits.