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Abstract: Disability evaluation in chronic fatigue syndrome: associations between exercise capacity and activity limitations/participation restrictions

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www.ProHealth.com • April 2, 2004


Clin Rehabil. 2004 Mar;18(2):139-48. Nijs J, De Meirleir K, Wolfs S, Duquet W. Department of Human Physiology, Faculty of Physical Education and Physical Therapy and Chronic Fatigue Clinic, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium. Jo.Nijs@vub.ac.be OBJECTIVE: In an attempt to examine whether impairments in cardiorespiratory fitness are associated with daily functioning in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), this study addresses the correlations between exercise capacity and activity limitations/participation restrictions. DESIGN: Prospective observational study. SETTING: An outpatient tertiary care, chronic fatigue clinic at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium. SUBJECTS: Seventy-seven patients fulfilling the 1994 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) case definition for CFS. INTERVENTIONS: All patients filled in the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Activities and Participation Questionnaire (CFS-APQ) and performed a maximal exercise stress test on a bicycle ergometer. Heart rate was monitored continuously by use of an electrocardiograph. Metabolic and ventilatory parameters were measured through spirometry. RESULTS: A statistically significant correlation between the score obtained with the CFS-APQ and the body weight-adjusted peak oxygen uptake (Spearman rho = -0.32; p = 0.005), functional aerobic impairment (rho = 0.33; p = 0.004), workload/body weight (rho = -0.30; p = 0.009), exercise duration (rho = -0.30; p = 0.008), and the percentage of target heart rate achieved (rho = -0.33; p = 0.004) was observed. The correlations between the remaining exercise capacity parameters and the scores obtained with the CFS-APQ all indicated a trend towards association (0.01



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