Dimensional assessment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

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The absence of laboratory tests and clear criteria to identify

homogeneous (sub)groups in patients presenting with

unexplained fatigue, and to assess clinical status and

disability in these patients, calls for further assessment

methods. In the present study, a multi-dimensional approach to

the assessment of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is evaluated.

Two-hundred and ninety-eight patients with CFS completed a set

of postal questionnaires that assessed the behavioural,

emotional, social, and cognitive aspects of CFS. By means of

statistical analyses nine relatively independent dimensions of

CFS were identified along which CFS-assessment and

CFS-research can be directed. These dimensions were named:

psychological well-being, functional impairment in daily life,

sleep disturbances, avoidance of physical activity,

neuropsychological impairment, causal attributions related to

the complaints, social functioning, self-efficacy

expectations, and subjective experience of the personal

situation. A description of the study sample on these

dimensions is presented.

Vercoulen JH, Swanink CM, Fennis JF, Galama JM, van der Meer JW,

Bleijenberg G

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