Dr. Young's LabMetamemory in electrical injury patients: The impact of depression and executive functioning
Electrical injury (EI) patients endorse more physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms than age and educated matched controls with no history of an EI. These complaints are unrelated to injury parameters such as voltage exposure, current source or the severity of the wound size. Performance based measures of cognitive function have found concentration, distractibility and memory deficits. However, EI patient's subjective memory complaints appear discrepant with the actual level of objectively measured memory dysfunction. In other medical populations, depression has been a key factor in the accuracy of self-reported memory problems, or metamemory, with depressed patients frequently overestimating their memory impairment. Conversely, executive dysfunction has been related to underestimation of memory impairment. A group of EI survivors exhibited more verbal memory deficits and higher levels of depressive symptoms than a demographically similar control sample of non-injured electricians. For the El survivors, depression fully mediated the relationship between verbal memory performance and subjective memory beliefs. Executive dysfunction did not moderate the verbal memory-metamemory relationship.