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Evaluating the Centers for Disease Control's Empirical Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Case Definition – Source: Journal of Disability Policy Studies Online Oct 2008

  [ 18 votes ]   [ 1 Comment ]
By Leonard A Jason, et al. • • February 10, 2009

[Note: to read the full text of this article, offered in the Co-Cure Listserv Archive, click here.]

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently developed an empirical case definition that specifies criteria and instruments to diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in order to bring more methodological rigor to the current CFS case definition.

The present study investigated this new definition with 27 participants with a diagnosis of CFS and 37 participants with a diagnosis of a Major Depressive Disorder.

Participants completed questionnaires measuring disability, fatigue, and symptoms.

Findings indicated that 38% of those with a diagnosis of a Major Depressive Disorder were misclassified as having CFS using the new CDC definition.

Given the CDC's stature and respect in the scientific world, this new definition might be widely used by investigators and clinicians.

This might result in the erroneous inclusion of people with primary psychiatric conditions in CFS samples, with detrimental consequences for the interpretation of epidemiologic, etiologic, and treatment efficacy findings for people with CFS.

Source: Journal of Disability Policy Studies Online, Oct 21, 2008. Jason LA, Najar N, Porter N, Reh C. Center for Community Research, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois, USA. [E-mail:]

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Article Comments Post a Comment

CDC trying to go backwards
Posted by: AuntTammie
Mar 11, 2009
Every time CFS researchers make good steps forward, the CDC steps in and pushes things backwards. All this is going to do is to "prove" to certain groups of people who are already skeptical of CFS that it is really depression, even though it has been shown that there are very distinct differences. When research has already shown that there is mitochondrial involvement and post exertional malaise, genetic differentiation, and other specific physical criteria, the CDC wants to turn around and basically say that this is all in our heads. I wish the CDC would just stay out of this all together. The new definition is ridiculous and harmful. Haven't they done enough damage in the past? I wonder, too, if they are using this definition for ME/CFS and/or CFIDS, or just generalizing it to be CFS even after all the struggle to change the name and show that it is different from just plain fatigue. In other words, if they include all the criteria that people with ME/CFS really do have, there is no way that they could mix it up with depression.
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