Life-events & the course of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Life-events have been implicated in the onset and course of various
illnesses. The present study examined their role in chronic
fatigue syndrome, in the context of the ongoing illness. Using
the PERI list, events experienced during the past year were
elicited in interviews with 130 patients. The analyses were
restricted to those events implying moderate or major life
change, and separate analyses were carried out for positive
and negative events. Positive events were found to be
associated with lower scores for fatigue, impairment, anxiety
and depression, as assessed at the time of the life-events
interview, and these relationships were also significant when
prior scores at the beginning of the year were statistically
controlled. Negative life-events were associated with higher
anxiety, but were unrelated to the other measures. It was
concluded that positive life-events and experiences may
contribute to the process of recovery in chronic fatigue
syndrome, though their occurrence may also be facilitated by a
preceding lifting of symptoms.

MCM: Studied 130 pts (92 female) with CFS by Oxford criteria
of mean duration 40.93 months with initial evaluation and
reevaluation at 1 year, including Profile of Fatigue-Related
Symptoms, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Score, and the PERI
list of life-events.During the 1 year interval, fatigue and
impairment decreased significantly but not anxiety.Regarding
negative life events, there was no correlation with fatigue ,
impairment, or depression though there was with anxiety.
Regarding positive life events [stressors], there was
significant negative correlation with fatigue, impairment,
anxiety, and depression.

Ray C, Jefferies S, Weir WR

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