Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: The Need for Subtypes

  title={Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: The Need for Subtypes},
  author={Leonard A. Jason and Karina Corradi and Susan R. Torres-Harding and Ren{\'e}e R Taylor and Caroline P. King},
  journal={Neuropsychology Review},
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is an important condition confronting patients, clinicians, and researchers. This article provides information concerning the need for appropriate diagnosis of CFS subtypes. We first review findings suggesting that CFS is best conceptualized as a separate diagnostic entity rather than as part of a unitary model of functional somatic distress. Next, research involving the case definitions of CFS is reviewed. Findings suggest that whether a broad or more… 

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The field of CFS studies needs to be grounded in empirical methods for determining a case definition versus more consensus-based efforts, which will ultimately help social service providers better diagnose and provide services to those with this chronic illness.

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Pharmacotherapy can currently not be considered first-line treatment in CFS and should always be used in a context of self-management and rehabilitation, as well as the complex relationships between CFS, stress and depression.

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  • P. SandersJ. Korf
  • Psychology, Medicine
    The world journal of biological psychiatry : the official journal of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry
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The suggested causes of CFS and the divergent reactions to therapy may be explained by the lack of recognition of subgroups, and identification of subtypes may lead to more effective therapeutic interventions.

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Recommendations developed by the International Association of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Pedia are presented, highlighting the lack of both a pediatric definition of ME/CFS and a reliable instrument to assess it.

Variability in symptoms complicates utility of case definitions

There is a wide range of occurrence rates on critical symptoms of the case definition, suggesting that either the types of patients recruited differ in various settings or the questions assessing core symptoms vary in their wording or criteria among different researchers.

Onset Patterns of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: A Mixed Method Approach

It was hypothesized that individuals with sudden onsets would more likely report that a virus/infection preceded their illness, attribute their illness to physical causes, evidence lower lifetime psychiatric comorbidity, report poorer physical functioning, and have better mental health outcomes compared to the gradual onset group.



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Can the chronic fatigue syndrome be defined by distinct clinical features?

Clinical heterogeneity among patients currently diagnosed as CFS is demonstrated, suggesting aetiological heterogeneity, in the absence of discriminative clinical features, current consensus criteria do not necessarily reduce the heterogeneity of patients recruited to CFS research studies.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Women, minorities, and nonworking individuals with CFS reported greater levels of functional disability, symptom severity, and poorer psychosocial functioning than men, Caucasians, and working individuals, suggesting sociodemographic characteristics may be associated with poorer outcomes in urban, community-based samples of CFS individuals.

Comparing the Fukuda et al. Criteria and the Canadian Case Definition for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Differences between CFS as defined by Fukuda et al. (1994) and a set of criteria that has been proposed for a clinical Canadian Case definition are examined.

Chronic fatigue syndrome: Reviewing the research findings

Current evidence indicates that CFS is multidetermined and heterogeneous and that subgrouping patients according to factors such as psychiatric state and symptom onset may be fruitful, and the challenges for research aimed at resolving this prototypical mind/body problem are discussed.

A Comparison of the 1988 and 1994 Diagnostic Criteria for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The 1988 criteria, compared to the 1994 criteria, appeared to select a group of participants with more symptomatology and functional impairment, but these groups did not significantly differ in psychiatric comorbidity.

Chronic fatigue syndrome: occupation, medical utilization, and subtypes in a community-based sample.

Examination of patients from a community-based study based on patients recruited from primary or tertiary care settings found important differences emerged on measures of sociodemographics, symptoms, and functional disability.

A population-based study of the clinical course of chronic fatigue syndrome

The persistence of sleep complaints and identification of sleep disorders suggest that CFS subjects be evaluated for sleep disturbances, which could be treated, and thus early detection of CFS is of utmost importance.

The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Comprehensive Approach to Its Definition and Study

We have developed a conceptual framework and a set of research guidelines for use in studies of the chronic fatigue syndrome. The guidelines cover the clinical and laboratory evaluation of persons

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  • Psychology, Medicine
    Journal of psychiatric research
  • 1997