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Pediatrics. 2010 Jun;125(6):e1324-30. doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-2644. Epub 2010 May 17.

Physical and functional impact of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis in childhood.

Author information

1
Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Division of Medical Sciences, Mail Box 1, Centre for Cardiovascular and Lung Biology, Vascular and Inflammatory Diseases Research Unit, Dundee DD1 9SY, United Kingdom. g.y.kennedy@dundee.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to compare self-reported and parent-reported quality of life for a group of pediatric patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)/myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and age- and gender-matched healthy control children, to determine the extent of functional and physical impairment.

METHODS:

The Child Health Questionnaire was completed by 25 children with CFS/ME, who were recruited throughout the United Kingdom, and by 23 age-, gender-, and Tanner scale-matched control children. In addition, patients were asked questions about the background to their illness (ie, precipitating factors), the status of their illness, and school attendance.

RESULTS:

The median illness duration for patients was 3 years. Sixty-eight percent of the children said that their illness developed quickly, and the illness had an infectious onset for 88%. Only 1 child (4%) attended school full-time, whereas 12 (48%) attended school part-time and 8 (32%) received home tuition only. Children with CFS/ME scored significantly lower for 10 of 14 Child Health Questionnaire concepts; the lowest scores were observed for global health (scores of 21.4 and 84.1 for patients and control subjects, respectively; P < .0001) and role/social limitations attributable to physical health problems (scores of 24.9 and 100, respectively; P < .0001). Quality of life for the children with CFS/ME compared unfavorably with previously published results for pediatric patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus or asthma.

CONCLUSION:

The quality of life of children with CFS/ME was profoundly reduced, compared with that of their healthy counterparts.

PMID:
20478937
DOI:
10.1542/peds.2009-2644
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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