The influence of symptom attributional style and beliefs about viruses on the reporting of symptoms during and after infection
Previous research has found that attributional style and beliefs people have about viruses can be related to symptom reporting and presentation. Especially in the area of chronic fatigue it has been shown repeatedly that patients' attribution of their illness is related to a worse outcome. This study investigates the influence of symptom attributional style and beliefs about the power of viruses on symptom reporting in people who think they suffer from influenza, using the Symptom Interpretation Questionnaire (SIQ) and the Viral Infection Research into Attitudes Scale (VIRAS). A visual analogue scale was used to measure the number and severity of physical and psychological symptoms of influenza. A follow-up was carried out to measure levels of fatigue after illness, using the Fatigue Scale. Results are presented and discussed, and conclusions are drawn.