Metamemory and tested cognitive functioning in multiple sclerosis

J. J. Randolph, P. A. Arnett, C. I. Higginson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Metamemory, or one's knowledge and self-report of memory ability, has been researched extensively; however, few studies have examined it in multiple sclerosis (MS). Because impairment in cognitive domains besides memory may affect memory functioning, patients may self-report problems with memory that are indicative of impairment in cognitive domains besides memory. One goal of the current study was to test this hypothesis in MS. A group of 55 MS patients were administered a variety of cognitive tasks and a self-report metamemory measure; patients' significant others were also given a metamemory measure requiring them to rate patients' memory abilities. Results indicated that patients' metamemory reports were significantly (p < .05) correlated with verbal recall, attentional, and executive tasks. Significant other ratings of patients' metamemory were correlated with verbal recall and attentional measures. Stepwise regression analyses including all relevant cognitive and demographic variables indicated that only education and Symbol Digit accounted for significant independent variance in patients' current memory reports. Our results suggest: (1) subjective complaints of memory difficulties by MS patients reflect difficulty in cognitive domains besides memory, (2) MS patient self-reports of memory difficulty are at least as accurate as significant other reports, and (3) patients with more education are more accurate in their metamemory ratings. These findings have implications not only for a better understanding of metamemory in MS, but also for more effective treatment and rehabilitation of MS patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-368
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Neuropsychologist
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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