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Legal and Scientific Considerations of the Exercise Stress Test - Source: Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, vol. 14, #2

  [ 153 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Margaret Ciccolella, et al. • • February 23, 2008

[Note: This article examines the legal and scientific bases on which exercise stress test-retest protocol can provide medically acceptable evidence of disability for the ME/CFS patient. It follows a study by this team at the University of the Pacific Fatigue Lab - "Diminished Cardiopulmonary Capacity During Post-Exercise Malaise" - which found extreme post exertion abnormalities in ME/CFS patients vs. normal controls not immediately but later.]

To qualify for disability benefits, a claimant must establish the existence of a serious medically determinable impairment (MDI) that causes the inability to work. The single stress test has been used to objectively establish whether a claimant can engage in "substantial gainful employment" and is an important determinant of the award or denial of benefits.

A review of case law indicates problems associated with a single test protocol that may be remedied by a "test-retest" protocol. The results of a preliminary study employing this approach indicate that the test-retest protocol addresses problems inherent in a single test and therefore provides an assessment of CFS related disability consistent with both medical and legal considerations.

[Note: To read the full text of the article, go to]

Source: Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Vol 14, No. 2, 2007, pp. 61-75. DOI: 10.1300/J092v14n02_06 by Ciccolella M, Stevens SR, Snell CR, VanNess M. Correspondence to J. Mark VanNess, University of the Pacific, Stockton CA 95211.

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