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Vol. 73, No. 3, 2004
Issue release date: May–June 2004
Section title: Regular Article
Psychother Psychosom 2004;73:174–182
(DOI:10.1159/000076455)

Social Support and the Persistence of Complaints in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Prins J.B. · Bos E. · Huibers M.J.H. · Servaes P. · van der Werf S.P. · van der Meer J.W.M. · Bleijenberg G.
Departments of aMedical Psychology and bGeneral Internal Medicine, University Medical Centre Nijmegen, Nijmegen, and cDepartment of Epidemiology and General Practice, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Regular Article

Published online: 3/29/2004

Number of Print Pages: 9
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 5

ISSN: 0033-3190 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0348 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/PPS

Abstract

Background: Several studies suggested that the surroundings of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients are of importance in the persistence of complaints. Contrary to what was expected, participation in support groups has not led to clinical improvement. The purpose of the present study was to describe social support in CFS patients as compared with other fatigued and non-fatigued groups. Further, changes in social support and the influence of social support on the course of CFS over a period of more than 1 year were studied in patients with and without treatment. Methods: Baseline data were assessed in 270 CFS patients, 150 disease-free breast cancer patients, 151 fatigued employees on sick-leave and 108 healthy subjects using the Social Support List and Significant Others Scale. CFS patients were followed in cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), guided support groups and natural course at 8 and 14 months. Results: CFS patients and fatigued employees reported more negative interactions and insufficiency of supporting interactions than cancer patients and healthy controls. No differences in frequency of supporting interactions were found. Negative interactions decreased significantly after treatment with CBT, but did not change in support groups or natural course. In the natural course, higher fatigue severity at 8 months was predicted by more negative interactions at baseline. Conclusions: In CFS patients and fatigued employees, social support is worse than in disease-free cancer patients and healthy controls. Lack of social support was identified as a new factor in the model of perpetuating factors of fatigue severity and functional impairment in CFS.


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Regular Article

Published online: 3/29/2004

Number of Print Pages: 9
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 5

ISSN: 0033-3190 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0348 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/PPS


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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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