2005 ME/CFS Research Forum

ME/CFS RESEARCH FORUM REPORT:
Adelaide Research Network 3 - 4 June 2005
UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE

Convenor: Alison Hunter Memorial Foundation

Katherine S Rowe MD MBBS MD FRACP MPH DipEd
Paediatrician
Royal Melbourne Children's Hospital
Melbourne Australia

Oral presentations

Symptom patterns and psychological features of adolescents with CFS

Dr Rowe presented her ongoing research with particular reference to her 2001 paper "An Evidence-Based Approach to Defining the Symptom Complex of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Children and Adolescents" presented at the Third International Interdisciplinary Evidence-Based Policies and Indicator Systems Conference, July 2001, CEM Centre, University of Durham

Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine whether the symptom complex of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) identified in adults occurs in adolescents, and whether it can be designated as a syndrome. The study involved a clinical group of 189 young people (mean age 15 years; range 10.6-18.6) presenting with a defined onset over hours or days of persistent or relapsing, debilitating fatigue, exacerbated by exercise and not resolved with bed rest, for a duration of greater than 6 months. A 38-item symptom questionnaire was completed (inter alia) from which symptom frequency, severity and factor structure of responses were compared with those obtained from a control group (n = 68; mean age 14.5 years; range 12-18). This paper reports key findings from the study, indicating that the identified symptom complex of CFS can be designated legitimately as a syndrome, with immunological symptoms being primary. An alternative hypothesis of somatization disorder could not be supported because of inconsistent and low response frequencies of such symptoms. The implications of having been able to measure and define the syndrome are discussed.

 

 

Alison Hunter Memorial Foundation
PO Box 6132 North Sydney 2059 Australia
Phone/Fax +61 2 9958 6285

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