To the top

Page Manager: Webmaster
Last update: 9/11/2012 3:13 PM

Tell a friend about this page
Print version

Executive function and at… - University of Gothenburg, Sweden Till startsida
To content Read more about how we use cookies on

Executive function and attention in patients with stress-related exhaustion: perceived fatigue and effect of distraction

Journal article
Authors D. Krabbe
S. Ellbin
Michael Nilsson
I. H. Jonsdottir
Hans Samuelsson
Published in Stress-the International Journal on the Biology of Stress
Volume 20
Issue 4
Pages 333-340
ISSN 1025-3890
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Department of Psychology
Pages 333-340
Language en
Links 10.1080/10253890.2017.1336533
Keywords Burnout, exhaustion disorder, cognitive function, neuropsychological, tiredness, effort approach, cognitive performance, burnout, failures
Subject categories Clinical Medicine, Psychology


Cognitive impairment has frequently been shown in patients who seek medical care for stress-related mental health problems. This study aims to extend the current knowledge of cognitive impairments in these patients by focusing on perceived fatigue and effects of distraction during cognitive testing. Executive function and attention were tested in a group of patients with stress-related exhaustion (n=25) and compared with healthy controls (n=25). Perceived fatigue was measured before, during and after the test session, and some of the tests were administered with and without standardized auditory distraction. Executive function and complex attention performance were poorer among the patients compared to controls. Interestingly, their performance was not significantly affected by auditory distraction but, in contrast to the controls, they reported a clear-cut increase in mental tiredness, during and after the test session. Thus, patients with stress-related exhaustion manage to perform during distraction but this was achieved at a great cost. These findings are discussed in terms of a possible tendency to adopt a high-effort approach despite cognitive impairments and the likelihood that such an approach will require increased levels of effort, which can result in increased fatigue. We tentatively conclude that increased fatigue during cognitive tasks is a challenge for patients with stress-related exhaustion and plausibly of major importance when returning to work demanding high cognitive performance.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

The University of Gothenburg uses cookies to provide you with the best possible user experience. By continuing on this website, you approve of our use of cookies.  What are cookies?