A review of the definitional criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome

Dolphin

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A review of the definitional criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome.

J Eval Clin Pract. 2010 Oct 4. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2753.2010.01512.x. [Epub ahead of print]

Christley Y, Duffy T, Martin CR.

Lecturer, Research and International Project Manager, Chair in Mental Health, School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery, University of the West of Scotland, Ayr Campus, UK.

Abstract

Rationale, aims and objectives
The research community has for more than three decades tried to unravel the diagnostic mystery that is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). This has resulted in considerable amounts of time and money being invested in attempts aimed at establishing the aetiology and pathogenesis of CFS. All of this investment has produced evidence of an interesting variety of endocrine, immune, infectious, muscular and neurological abnormalities in CFS; however, the cause remains elusive. The absence of a known causative agent or diagnostic test for CFS has resulted in the development of a number of CFS case definitions. As such, the main objectives of this paper are to provide a critical review of the similarities and differences between the varying approaches to CFS case definition. The conflicts and controversies that have emerged as a result of the differing definitional criterion for CFS are highlighted and the potential impact on future research is identified.
Methods, results and conclusions
This paper presents a critical review of the most frequently used case definitions in CFS. There are currently five case definitions of CFS; however, the most prominent and widely used of these definitions is the 1994 Centre for Disease Control and Prevention Case Definitions. However, the pre-eminence of this definition over the others has never been substantiated and it has been widely criticized for its lack of specificity. Furthermore, none of the above case definitions have produced evidence to demonstrate their accuracy or precision at defining cases of CFS. A summary description of the symptom profile included in each of the case definitions is provided. The inconsistencies that have emerged in CFS research as a consequence of differing approaches to case definition are also highlighted and discussed.
 

Dolphin

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Somebody kindly sent me this paper.

Unfortunately it was not that exciting in terms of critiques of the different definitions. It contained maybe one or two criticisms for each definition so better than nothing I suppose but it could have been much more in-depth. Few if any of the criticisms were from the authors themselves - they just quoted other criticisms (a lot of them were from papers by Lenny Jason).

It lists the different definitions which I suppose is good although it does it in a slightly confusing fashion and in particular figure 2 has a problem: the box on the top right applies to both versions.
 

maryb

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Its like research for the sake of research, who is it for and what does it achieve................
What an absolute waste of time and money (not to mention hot air) - typical for that group I suppose.