Physical activity in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): assessment & its role in fatigue

This paper describes the assessment of physical activity in

chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and investigated the following

questions: Do patients with CFS have low levels of physical

activity; is there a relationship between actual level of

physical activity and fatigue; can self-report measures

adequately assess actual level of physical activity; what is

the role of cognitions with respect to physical activity; and

are results with respect to physical activity specific to CFS?

Three different types of activity measures were used:

self-report questionnaires, a 12-day self-observation list,

and a motion-sensing device (Actometer) which was used as a

reference for actual activity level. Fifty-one patients with

CFS, 50 fatigued patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), and 53

healthy subjects participated in this study. Although none of

the self-report questionnaires showed high correlations with

the Actometer, questionnaires that require simple ratings of

specified activities were related to the Actometer and can be

used as acceptable substitutes, in contrast to instruments

that require general subjective interpretations of activity

that had low or non-significant correlations with the

Actometer. Actometer results showed that CFS patients and MS

patients had similar activity levels and both groups were

significantly less active than healthy subjects.

Compared to

MS patients, CFS patients were more likely to indicate that

they had been less active than other persons they knew.

Activities which patients expected to result in higher fatigue

levels were less frequently performed. Patients with CFS had

significantly higher scores on this measure than MS patients

and healthy subjects. Low levels of physical activity were

related to severe fatigue in CFS but not in MS. In conclusion,

although CFS patients have similar low activity levels than MS

patients, there are also important differences between both

groups: in CFS cognitive factors are more prominently involved

in producing the low activity levels than in MS and in CFS

patients activity level is related to fatigue but not in MS.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (23 votes, average: 3.04 out of 5)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (23 votes, average: 3.04 out of 5)

Leave a Reply