General practitioners acceptance of the validity of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) as a diagnosis

AIM. To identify whether general practitioners accept the validity

of a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

METHOD. An

anonymous questionnaire was sent out to 98 general

practitioners in Otago.

RESULTS. The clinical validity of

chronic fatigue syndrome was accepted by 74 (90%); 57 believed

they had sufficient knowledge about the condition to make a

differential diagnosis; 72 indicated they had had patients

with chronic fatigue syndrome in the past; 62 currently had

patients; there is a minimum prevalence rate of 167/100,000 in

the general practice population; 83 replies were received.

CONCLUSION. The 90% acceptance rate of chronic fatigue

syndrome as a clinically valid diagnosis suggests that amongst

the Otago general practitioners the controversy had receded.

The low numbers suggest that they are on the conservative end

of the diagnostic spectrum.

Denz-Penhey H, Murdoch JC

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