The diagnosis and treatment of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is subject to debate.
To measure the time to diagnosis and services accessed.
A national cross-sectional study. A profile and service utilisation questionnaire, information on the pathways to diagnosis, the WHOQoL Brief and a listing of priorities of the needs of participants were used. Individuals were invited to participate if they had a medical diagnosis of ME/CFS.
A total of 211 surveys were returned. Prior to diagnosis sufferers accessed on average 4.5 services after their initial consultation. The mean time to diagnosis was 3.7 years but time ranged from 0 to 34 years. Quality of life deteriorated post-onset. The priority for future service provision was increased understanding and diagnosis of ME/CFS by the medical profession.
In order to alleviate the burden on the sufferer there is a greater need for education on this condition.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
CFS/ME Working Group (2001) Report to the Chief Medical Officer of an Independent Working group. Department of Health, London. http://www.dh.gov.uk/assetRoot/04/05/95/06/04059506.pdf
Craig T, Kakumanum S (2002) Chronic fatigue syndrome: evaluation and treatment. Am Fam Physician 65(6):1083–1091 http://www.aafp.org/afp/2002/0315/p1083.html
Carruthers B, van de Sande M (2005) ME/CFS A clinical case definition and guidelines for medical practitioners: an overview of the canadian consensus document. http://www.cfids-cab.org/MESA/me_overview.pdf
CFS Working Group convened under the auspices of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (2002) Chronic disease syndrome: clinical practice guidelines. MJA 176:S17–S55. http://www.mja.com.au/public/guides/cfs/cfs2.pdf
Njoku MGC, Jason LA, Torres-Harding SR (2007) The prevalence of chronic fatigue syndrome in Nigeria. J Health Psychol 12(3):461–474
The authors would like to acknowledge the contribution to the research from the Research Steering Committee comprising of members from the Health Service Executive, the Irish ME Trust and the Irish ME/CFS Support Group. Authors would also like to sincerely thank the sufferers of ME/CFS who gave of their valuable time and energy to complete the survey forms. Thank you. This research was funded by the Irish Health Service Executive.
About this article
Cite this article
Comiskey, C., Larkan, F. A national cross-sectional survey of diagnosed sufferers of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: pathways to diagnosis, changes in quality of life and service priorities. Ir J Med Sci 179, 501–505 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11845-010-0585-0