How do adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome perceive their social environment? A quantitative study – Source: IACFS/ME Spring Bulletin 2009

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Some concern has been raised regarding the inappropriateness of the adult Center for Disease Control criteria for use in children. This resulted in a pediatric case definition being published in 2006.

Unfortunately, the case definition does not prevent confusion and doubt with regard to the experienced symptoms in school personnel who deal with young persons with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). In order to provide more insight into pediatric chronic fatigue syndrome, twenty-seven chronic fatigue syndrome adolescents were interviewed by means of questionnaires.

Results showed that:

• It took about one and a half years before children received a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome.

• Their symptom pattern seems comparable with that of an adult sample, except for stomach aches [majority of the teens surveyed have them].

• The majority experienced conflicts at school due to their condition.

• Almost every adolescent with chronic fatigue syndrome abandoned their leisure activities.

• Adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome were frequently confronted with negative remarks if they attempted their usual leisure activities.

Source: IACFS/ME Spring Bulletin 2009; 17(1) pp 16-31. Elke LS Van Hoof, PhD; Pascale J De Becker, PhD; Charles Lapp, MD; Kenny L. De Meirleir, MD, PhD. Open University, The Netherlands; Department of Cognitive and Biological Psychology, Faculty of Psychological and Educational Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium; Hunter-Hopkins Center, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.

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