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Subjective cognitive complaints in patients with stress-related exhaustion disorder: a cross sectional study
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Academic Unit for Psychiatry of Old Age, University of Melbourne, Australia.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3256-9018
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Diagnostic Radiology. Institute of Sports Medicine Copenhagen (ISMC), Copenhagen University Hospital Bispebjerg, Copenhagen, Denmark; Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance, Centre for Functional and Diagnostic Imaging and Research, Copenhagen University Hospital, Amager and Hvidovre, Denmark.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4458-6475
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Section of Physiotherapy. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Sustainable Health.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2402-562x
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2021 (English)In: BMC Psychology, E-ISSN 2050-7283, Vol. 9, no 1, article id 84Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Stress-related exhaustion is associated with cognitive impairment as measured by both subjective cognitive complaints (SCCs) and objective cognitive test performance. This study aimed to examine how patients diagnosed with exhaustion disorder differ from healthy control participants in regard to levels and type of SCCs, and if SCCs are associated with cognitive test performance and psychological distress.

Methods: We compared a group of patients with stress-related exhaustion disorder (n = 103, female = 88) with matched healthy controls (n = 58, female = 47) cross-sectionally, concerning the type and magnitude of self-reported SCCs. We furthermore explored the association between SCCs and cognitive test performance as well as with self-reported depression, anxiety and burnout levels, in the patient and the control group, respectively.

Results: Patients reported considerably more cognitive failures and were more likely than controls to express memory failures in situations providing few external cues and reminders in the environment. In both groups, SCCs were associated with demographic and psychological factors, and not with cognitive test performance.

Conclusion: Our findings underline the high burden of cognitive problems experienced by patients with exhaustion disorder, particularly in executively demanding tasks without external cognitive support. From a clinical perspective, SCCs and objective cognitive test performance may measure different aspects of cognitive functioning, and external cognitive aids could be of value in stress rehabilitation.

Trial registration: Participants were recruited as part of the Rehabilitation for Improved Cognition (RECO) study (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03073772). Date of registration: 8 March 2017

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2021. Vol. 9, no 1, article id 84
Keywords [en]
Burnout, Cognition, Exhaustion, Stress, Stress-induced, Subjective cognitive complaints
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-183883DOI: 10.1186/s40359-021-00576-9ISI: 000655581200003PubMedID: 34006315Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85106193025OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-183883DiVA, id: diva2:1559895
Available from: 2021-06-03 Created: 2021-06-03 Last updated: 2023-09-05Bibliographically approved

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Malmberg Gavelin, HannaBoraxbekk, Carl-JohanEskilsson, ThereseJosefsson, MariaSlunga Järvholm, Lisbeth

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Malmberg Gavelin, HannaBoraxbekk, Carl-JohanEskilsson, ThereseJosefsson, MariaSlunga Järvholm, Lisbeth
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Department of PsychologyDiagnostic RadiologySection of PhysiotherapySection of Sustainable HealthCentre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR)Statistics
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