Associations between perfectionism, mood, and fatigue in chronic fatigue syndrome: a pilot study.

BACKGROUND: This study investigated possible associations between perfectionistic personality traits, mood, and fatigue in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

METHODS: Forty CFS sufferers referred to tertiary care and 31 control healthy subjects completed the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (MPS), Chalder Fatigue Questionnaire, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD) scale.

RESULTS: Total perfectionism scores did not correlate with fatigue, anxiety, or depression in either group. Other-oriented MPS scores were significantly lower among CFS sufferers, especially women, and correlated negatively with physical fatigue levels overall. Total and socially prescribed MPS scores correlated with age for the CFS group alone. Possible reasons why this study did not confirm a positive association between perfectionism and CFS are discussed.

CONCLUSION: The finding that CFS sufferers set lower standards and have lower expectations for significant others may have implications for rehabilitation and recovery from this disorder.

Source: J Nerv Ment Dis 1999 Sep;187(9):566-70. Division of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences in Relation to Medicine, St. James's University Hospital, Leeds, United Kingdom.

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