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A New Experimental Design to Examine Cognitive Biases for Gastrointestinal Related Stimuli in Children and Adolescents

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Cognitive biases toward disorder-specific stimuli are suggested as crucial to the development and maintenance of symptoms in adults with functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID). Functional abdominal pain disorders (FAPD), a subtype of FGID, are common in children and adolescents, but the influence of cognitive biases is sparsely examined. This study aimed to (1) develop a new experimental design for assessing cognitive biases toward gastrointestinal stimuli in children and adolescents (aged 8 to 17 years) and (2) derive comparative data on bias toward gastrointestinal stimuli using a healthy “normative” sample. The online experimental design–BY-GIS (Bias in Youth toward GastroIntestinal-related Stimuli)—includes a word task and a picture task. Stimuli in both tasks are related to general and gastrointestinal symptoms, and the design includes three phases: (1) encoding, (2) free recall, and (3) recognition. Data were collected between April 2022 and April 2023 from 96 healthy participants (Mage = 12.32, 47.92% female). Adolescents were significantly better at recalling words than children (p = 0.03), whereas there were no significant gender or age differences with regard to recalling pictures (p > 0.05). Across age and gender, participants performed above chance level in the recognition phases of both tasks. The results support that the design is suitable within the age span.

Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2023

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