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Screening for psychiatric disorders in chronic fatigue & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

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Psychiatric disorders are common in chronic fatigue (CF) and chronic

fatigue syndrome (CFS). To determine the usefulness of the

General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), a self-report measure of

psychological distress, in identifying those with psychiatric

illnesses, a structured psychiatric interview and the GHQ

were administered to 120 CF and 161 CFS patients seen in a

referral clinic. Overall, 87 (35%) patients had a current and

210 (82%) a lifetime psychiatric disorder. Compared to

patients without psychiatric disorders, GHQ scores above the

threshold (> or = 12) were more frequent among patients with

current (p < 0.001) and lifetime (p < 0.05) diagnoses; scores

among patients with CF and CFS were similar. Longer illness

duration, greater fatigue severity, and current psychiatric

disorders were significant predictors of the GHQ score. In CF

and CFS, the best sensitivity (0.69-0.76) and specificity

(0.51-0.62) were achieved for current psychiatric diagnoses

using a threshold score of > or = 12. Thus, patients scoring

< 12 on the GHQ are significantly less likely to have a

psychiatric disorder.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (39 votes, average: 3.15 out of 5)
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