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Coping & other predictors of outcome in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS): a 1-year follow-up

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By Ray C, Jefferies S, Weir WR • www.ProHealth.com • October 6, 1997


In this prospective study, 137 patients with chronic fatigue
syndrome were followed-up at a 1-year interval to determine
factors relating to outcomes. Nearly two thirds reported an
improvement on direct ratings of change. In analyses with
fatigue and functional impairment at follow-up as the
criteria, and controlling for earlier status, poorer outcomes
were predicted by illness duration, subjective cognitive
difficulty, and somatic symptoms; there was no influence of
anxiety, depression, or general emotional distress. Fatigue
was also predicted by information-seeking, and impairment by
behavioral disengagement and a low internal locus of control.

The belief that one's actions can influence outcomes modified
the relationship between illness accommodation and both
fatigue and impairment; adverse outcomes were associated with
accommodating to illness only in the context of lower levels
of perceived control. Thus, it is suggested that interventions
that either discourage avoidance of activity or enhance
perceived control could benefit the course of the illness.




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