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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/25415

Title: Retrospective memory for symptoms in patients with medically unexplained symptoms
Authors: Walentynowicz, Marta
Bogaerts, Katleen
Stans, Linda
Van Diest, Ilse
Raes, Filip
Van den Bergh, Omer
Issue Date: 2018
Abstract: Objective Clinical assessment and diagnostic processes heavily rely on memory-based symptom reports. The current study investigated memory for symptoms and the peak-end effect for dyspnea in patients with medically unexplained symptoms and healthy participants. Methods Female patients with medically unexplained dyspnea (MUD) (n = 22) and matched healthy controls (n = 22) participated in two dyspnea induction trials (short, long). Dyspnea ratings were collected: (1) continuously during symptom induction (concurrent with respiratory measures), (2) immediately after the experiment, and (3) after 2 weeks. Symptoms, negative affect, and anxiety were assessed at baseline and after every trial. The mediating role of state anxiety in symptom reporting was assessed. The peak-end effect was tested with forced-choice questions measuring relative preference for the trials. Results Compared to controls, dyspnea induction resulted in higher levels of symptoms, anxiety, concurrent dyspnea ratings, and minute ventilation in the patient group. In both groups, immediate retrospective ratings were higher than averaged concurrent ratings. No further increase in dyspnea ratings was observed at 2-week recall. Retrospective dyspnea ratings were mediated by both state anxiety and concurrent dyspnea ratings. Patients did not show a peak-end effect, whereas controls did. Conclusion The findings show that patients' experience of a dyspneic episode is subject to immediate memory bias, but does not change over a longer time period. The results also highlight the importance of affective state during symptom experience for both symptom perception and memory.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/25415
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2017.12.006
ISSN: 0022-3999
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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