Social problem solving in chronic fatigue syndrome: preliminary findings
Christopher, G. and Thomas, M. (2009) Social problem solving in chronic fatigue syndrome: preliminary findings. Stress and Health, 25 (2). pp. 161-169. ISSN 1532-3005
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smi.1233
This paper investigates social problem solving in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a condition characterized by reduced activity levels and excessive mental fatigue. Although intra- and interpersonal problems are prevalent, no studies have explored social problem-solving skills in this group. Patients were split into two groups: either high or low alexithymia, a condition associated with affect dysregulation. The high alexithymic group viewed problems as threatening, responding either impulsively or avoiding responding altogether; they were poor also in the use of compensatory strategies, which, taken together, increases the likelihood of a negative outcome from attempts at conflict resolution. These findings go some way in successfully identifying potential subgroupings in CFS sufferers and has important implications in terms of the therapy offered.