Illness behaviour of patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

The study examines the illness behaviour of patients with Chronic

Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). The Illness Behaviour Questionnaire

(IBQ), the twenty-eight version of the General Health

Questionnaire (GHQ-28), and the Beck Depression Inventory

(BDI) were administered to forty patients with a diagnosis of

CFS. The results revealed that CFS patients in comparison with

general practice patients, scored significantly higher on the

IBQ sub-scales of General Hypochonriasis, t(188) = 5.2, p <

0.001 and Disease Conviction, t(188) = 13.28, p < 0.001 but

lower on the Psychological/Somatic sub-scale, t(188) = -5.88,

p < 0.001. The CFS and psychiatric patients did not differ

significantly on the general hypochondriasis sub-scale.

Results of the GHQ-28 revealed 66.7% of the CFS patients

scored above the cut-off for psychiatric morbidity. In

comparison to a previous study of CFS patients [1], the

current findings indicate a significantly higher score on

general hypochondriasis. The implications of these findings

are discussed.

Schweitzer R, Robertson DL, Kelly B, Whiting J

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