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Recall bias in reporting medically unexplained symptoms comes from semantic memory, 2007, Houtveen and Oei

Discussion in 'Psychosomatic research - ME/CFS and Long Covid' started by Sid, Jul 14, 2021.

  1. Sid

    Sid Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    This 2007 study from the Journal of Psychosomatic Research to my mind suggests that retrospective subjective symptom reporting in MUS is useless. People seem to report what they think they know about themselves (personal semantic memory) rather than events they remember (episodic memory). Hard to see how this same problem with symptom reporting being inaccurate wouldn't then also be greatly worsened by CBT since "successful" CBT alters people's knowledge and beliefs about their condition.

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022399906005083
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2021
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  2. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    This is the kind of nonsense that happens when fake scientists just throw away evidence. We can only report brain fog and cognitive problems, including memory, but we can't make them understand. And clearly they can't figure that stuff out for themselves, the complete shock and surprise, feigned or otherwise, at brain fog coming out of Long Covid says everything about this very old thing being shockingly new to people who are supposed to be "experts". Experts at listening and recording selectively, it seems. I couldn't even count the number of times I replied incorrectly to a question, only later realizing it, and then it's too late to bring it up again because of exactly this, "hmmmm... sounds rehearsed".

    It's a terrible, terrible idea to rely on memory recall, especially to make ill-motivated gotchas, with a patient population that explicitly suffers from memory problems. Every time I mentioned the cognitive issues to a physician and how it makes difficult for me to express myself they felt it necessary and good to reassure me that they can understand me fine. This is what stupid ideas like "rousing reassurance" go to die in practice. I'm giving information and they just ignore it. Brilliant. Genius.

    That "probably" obviously has no place whatsoever in the conclusion. This is willfully ignorant speculation that mark whatever journal this was published in as a joke process.
     
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  3. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I must admit I did a double take there.

    If their symptom reporting is highly biased, then the concept of "people high on medically unexplained symptoms" makes little sense.
     
  4. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    From the quote in post #1 in this thread...

    When people report somatic complaints retrospectively, they depend on their memory. Therefore, retrospective reports can be influenced by general beliefs on sickness and health from semantic memory.

    This is a rather dodgy statement to make for all sorts of reasons, but one thing struck me about it.

    It's now 2021. Suppose I told someone about something I remember happening to me in health terms in 1991 i.e. 30 years ago. Whatever I said could be accurate, or an unconsciously distorted memory, or a consciously distorted memory or a lie. How is anyone going to determine the accuracy or truthfulness of this anecdote I've told?

    Are they going to use their judgement of me, my gender, my age, the clothes I wear, the state of my shoes, my vocabulary? Are they going to say to themselves - this person is a woman with a very thick set of medical records, so it must be a lie?

    Are they going to read my medical records thoroughly to check what I've said compared to what is in my records? And if this is the answer, it suggests they believe that medical records are both accurate and complete, which is totally absurd nonsense of the highest order.
     

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