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A comparison of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome in two "ideologically" contrasting clinics

Tom Kindlon

Senior Member
Messages
1,734
A comparison of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome in two "ideologically" contrasting clinics.
J Nerv Ment Dis. 2009 May;197(5):348-53. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181a2081f.

Van Houdenhove B, Van Hoof E, Becq K, Kempke S, Luyten P, De Meirleir K.

Source

Department of Liaison Psychiatry, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49, Leuven B-3000, Belgium. boudewijn.vanhoudenhove@uz.kuleuven.ac.be

Abstract

Aim of the present study was to compare chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients, attending 2 "ideologically" contrasting clinics for CFS, on various patient and illness characteristics.

Fifty-nine CFS patients of each clinic, located in Leuven and Brussels (Belgium), participated.

Patients did not differ with regard to age, levels of fatigue, psychopathology, and self-efficacy.

However, patients from the psychosocially-oriented clinic had a lower level of education, reported more progressive illness onset, and attributed their illness more to psychological causes.

Patients in the biologically-oriented clinic reported more pain, and showed higher levels of social functioning, motivation and vitality, as well as fewer limitations related to emotional problems.

It is concluded that CFS patients attending the 2 clinics could not be distinguished along dualistic biological/psychosocial lines, but those reporting sudden illness onset and making somatic attributions were more likely to be represented in the biologically-oriented clinic.

PMID: 19440108 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Publication Types, MeSH Terms
 

Tom Kindlon

Senior Member
Messages
1,734
There were actually quite a lot of differences between the two clinics.

I think there is an error somewhere, as I explain in this e-mail I just sent off to some of the authors:

From: Tom Kindlon
Sent: 03 September 2013 3:10
To: stefan.kempke@ppw.kuleuven.be; boudewijn.vanhoudenhove@uz.kuleuven.ac.be; patrick.luyten@psy.kuleuven.be
Subject: RE: A comparison of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome in two "ideologically" contrasting clinics.

Dear Profs Van Houdenhove and Luyten, and Dr. Kempke,

I wonder could one of you answer a quick question of mine.

I have just read the following paper but am confused by something. To me, it looks like there is an error, but perhaps I'm reading it incorrectly:

----------

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2009 May;197(5):348-53. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181a2081f.

A comparison of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome in two "ideologically" contrasting clinics.

Van Houdenhove B, Van Hoof E, Becq K, Kempke S, Luyten P, De Meirleir K.

Source

Department of Liaison Psychiatry, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49, Leuven B-3000, Belgium. boudewijn.vanhoudenhove@uz.kuleuven.ac.be

Abstract

Aim of the present study was to compare chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients, attending 2 "ideologically" contrasting clinics for CFS, on various patient and illness characteristics. Fifty-nine CFS patients of each clinic, located in Leuven and Brussels (Belgium), participated. Patients did not differ with regard to age, levels of fatigue, psychopathology, and self-efficacy. However, patients from the psychosocially-oriented clinic had a lower level of education, reported more progressive illness onset, and attributed their illness more to psychological causes. Patients in the biologically-oriented clinic reported more pain, and showed higher levels of social functioning, motivation and vitality, as well as fewer limitations related to emotional problems. It is concluded that CFS patients attending the 2 clinics could not be distinguished along dualistic biological/psychosocial lines, but those reporting sudden illness onset and making somatic attributions were more likely to be represented in the biologically-oriented clinic.

PMID: 19440108 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

With the SF-36, higher scores represents fewer problems with a particular area.

Looking at Table 2 (attached), the Brussels scores are higher for pain (62.74 vs 33.72) (suggesting less pain) and are lower for role emotion and mental health (32.02 vs 64.92 (RE) and 26.43 vs 54.05 (MH)) suggesting more limitations related to emotional problems. These figures are the opposite of what is in the text.


Similarly, for CIS-20, motivation for Brussels is 26.14 vs 16.89, meaning more problems with motivation.


Thanking you for your time,



Tom Kindlon

The Van Houdenhove address bounced as I thought it might (it was the reason I didn't just write to him). If anyone has a more recent address, I'd be interested in it. Thanks.
 

Little Bluestem

All Good Things Must Come to an End
Messages
4,930
Similarly, for CIS-20, motivation for Brussels is 26.14 vs 16.89, meaning more problems with motivation.
The Brussels score for motivation is higher, so wouldn’t that mean less problems with motivation?
 

Tom Kindlon

Senior Member
Messages
1,734
The Brussels score for motivation is higher, so wouldn’t that mean less problems with motivation?
Measures
Severity of fatigue was assessed by the checklist Individual strength-20 (CIS-20) (Vercoulen et al., 1994). The CIS is a selfreport questionnaire consisting of 20 items that measures 4 dimensions of fatigue (subjective experience of fatigue, concentration, motivation, and physical activity level). A total score is calculated by summing the 4 subscales. Higher scores reflect a higher level of fatigue, more problems with concentration, lower motivation, and lesser physical activity.