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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010 Sep;164(9):810-4. doi: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.145.

Adolescent chronic fatigue syndrome: a follow-up study.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, University Medical Center Utrecht, Lundlaan 6, Utrecht, the Netherlands. s.m.vangeelen@umcutrecht.nl

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the symptomatic and educational long-term outcomes, health care use, and risk factors of nonrecovery in adolescent chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

DESIGN:

Follow-up study.

SETTING:

Academic pediatric hospital.

PARTICIPANTS:

Sixty adolescents with CFS.

INTERVENTIONS:

Regular care.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

The Checklist Individual Strength, Child Health Questionnaire, and a general questionnaire regarding further symptoms, school attendance, work attendance, and treatment.

RESULTS:

Complete measurements were returned for 54 adolescents (90%). At initial assessment, their mean (SD) age was 16.0 (1.5) years and 20.4% were male. The mean follow-up duration was 2.2 years. At follow-up, the mean (SD) age was 18.2 (1.5) years; 28 adolescents (51.9%) had nearly complete improvement of symptoms but 26 (48.1%) did not experience improvement. Adolescents who attended school (n = 41) had missed an average of 33% of classes during the last month. The rest (n = 13) had worked an average of 38.7% of a full-time job during the last month. A total of 66.7% of subjects were treated by a physiotherapist, 38.9% were clinically treated in rehabilitation, 48.1% had received psychological support, and 53.7% had used alternative treatment.

CONCLUSIONS:

About half of the adolescents had recovered from CFS at follow-up. The other half was still severely fatigued and physically impaired. Health care use had been high, and school and work attendance were low. Older age at inclusion was a risk factor, and pain, poor mental health, self-esteem, and general health perception at outcome were associated with an unfavorable outcome. Future research should focus on customizing existing treatment and studying additional treatment options.

PMID:
20819962
DOI:
10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.145
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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