Does high ‘action-proneness’ make people more vulnerable to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)? A controlled psychometric study

Degree of premorbid 'action-proneness' was measured, using a
self-administered questionnaire, in 35 patients suffering from
chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), all the members of 'ME'-self
help groups and all those meeting CDC-criteria of CFS. The
results were compared with those of 30 chronic idiopathic
musculoskeletal pain patients, 34 patients with a chronic
organic condition, and 34 neurotic patients without primary
somatic complaints. Statistical analysis showed that CFS
patients described themselves as significantly more
'action-prone' than the last two groups, and to a degree which
was comparable with the chronic pain group. The results could
not be explained by concomitant depression and are in
accordance with anecdotal reports of premorbid hyperactive
lifestyle in CFS patients. Further investigations seem
worthwhile to test the hypothesis that hyperactivity might be
a predisposing factor for chronic illness behaviour in CFS

Van Houdenhove B, Onghena P, Neerinckx E, Hellin J

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