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Compr Psychiatry. 2017 Oct;78:76-82. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2017.07.006. Epub 2017 Jul 19.

Differential effects of childhood trauma subtypes on fatigue and physical functioning in chronic fatigue syndrome.

Author information

1
University Psychiatric Department, Campus Antwerp University Hospital (UZA), Antwerp (Edegem), Belgium; Collaborative Antwerp Psychiatric Research Institute (CAPRI), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp (UA), Antwerp, Belgium. Electronic address: maud.de.venter@uza.be.
2
Behaviour Therapy Division for Fatigue and Functional Symptoms, Antwerp University Hospital (UZA), Antwerp (Edegem), Belgium; Department of Internal Medicine, Antwerp University Hospital (UZA), Antwerp (Edegem), Belgium.
3
Collaborative Antwerp Psychiatric Research Institute (CAPRI), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp (UA), Antwerp, Belgium; University Psychiatric Department, Campus Psychiatric Hospital St.-Norbertus, Duffel, Belgium.
4
University Psychiatric Department, Campus Antwerp University Hospital (UZA), Antwerp (Edegem), Belgium; Collaborative Antwerp Psychiatric Research Institute (CAPRI), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp (UA), Antwerp, Belgium.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

There is wide consensus that childhood trauma plays an important role in the aetiology of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The current study examines the differential effects of childhood trauma subtypes on fatigue and physical functioning in individuals suffering from CFS.

METHODS:

Participants were 155 well-documented adult, predominantly female CFS patients receiving treatment at the outpatient treatment centre for CFS of the Antwerp University Hospital in Belgium. Stepwise regression analyses were conducted with outcomes of the total score of the Checklist Individual Strength (CIS) measuring fatigue and the scores on the physical functioning subscale of the Medical Outcomes Short Form 36 Health Status Survey (SF-36) as the dependent variables, and the scores on the five subscales of the Traumatic Experiences Checklist (TEC) as the independent variables.

RESULTS:

The patients' fatigue (β=1.38; p=0.025) and physical functioning scores (β=-1.79; p=0.034) were significantly predicted by childhood sexual harassment. There were no significant effects of emotional neglect, emotional abuse, bodily threat, or sexual abuse during childhood.

CONCLUSION:

Of the childhood trauma subtypes investigated, sexual harassment emerged as the most important predictor of fatigue and poor physical functioning in the CFS patients assessed. These findings have to be taken into account in further clinical research and in the assessment and treatment of individuals coping with chronic fatigue syndrome.

PMID:
28806608
DOI:
10.1016/j.comppsych.2017.07.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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