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Unexplained chronic fatigue and interpersonal problems: a study in a primary care population.
Int J Psychiatry Med 2009; 39(3):325-40IJ

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Unexplained fatigue syndromes are multidimensional phenomena that involve a constellation of symptoms. This article explores whether typical interpersonal problems are associated with self-reported and clinically-rated fatigue symptoms in chronically fatigued patients. We hypothesize that the severity of fatigue symptoms will be associated with a pattern of withdrawal from social interaction.

METHOD

Interpersonal problems were assessed by means of a self-report questionnaire. Chronic fatigue was assessed with a self-report questionnaire (both self-rated and clinically-rated) in a primary care Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) group (N = 52) and compared with two other clinical populations (minor medical condition: N = 51; chronic organic disease: N = 52).

RESULTS

Compared to patients with a minor medical condition, CFS patients are substantially more fatigued and more socially withdrawn. Compared to patients with a chronic organic disease, somewhat more fatigue-related disability was observed in CFS patients, but no distinct interpersonal problems came to the fore. CFS patients and physicians proved to differ in their opinion on the patient's motivation. In line with the hypothesis, self-rated and clinically-scored fatigue problems proved to be related to a pattern of withdrawal from social interaction.

CONCLUSION

Differences between physicians' and patients in how symptoms are interpreted might be related to patients feeling misunderstood and result in social withdrawal.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Ghent University, Belgium.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

19967903

Citation

Vandenbergen, Jan, et al. "Unexplained Chronic Fatigue and Interpersonal Problems: a Study in a Primary Care Population." International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, vol. 39, no. 3, 2009, pp. 325-40.
Vandenbergen J, Vanheule S, Desmet M, et al. Unexplained chronic fatigue and interpersonal problems: a study in a primary care population. Int J Psychiatry Med. 2009;39(3):325-40.
Vandenbergen, J., Vanheule, S., Desmet, M., & Verhaeghe, P. (2009). Unexplained chronic fatigue and interpersonal problems: a study in a primary care population. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 39(3), pp. 325-40.
Vandenbergen J, et al. Unexplained Chronic Fatigue and Interpersonal Problems: a Study in a Primary Care Population. Int J Psychiatry Med. 2009;39(3):325-40. PubMed PMID: 19967903.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Unexplained chronic fatigue and interpersonal problems: a study in a primary care population. AU - Vandenbergen,Jan, AU - Vanheule,Stijn, AU - Desmet,Mattias, AU - Verhaeghe,Paul, PY - 2009/12/9/entrez PY - 2009/12/9/pubmed PY - 2010/1/7/medline SP - 325 EP - 40 JF - International journal of psychiatry in medicine JO - Int J Psychiatry Med VL - 39 IS - 3 N2 - OBJECTIVE: Unexplained fatigue syndromes are multidimensional phenomena that involve a constellation of symptoms. This article explores whether typical interpersonal problems are associated with self-reported and clinically-rated fatigue symptoms in chronically fatigued patients. We hypothesize that the severity of fatigue symptoms will be associated with a pattern of withdrawal from social interaction. METHOD: Interpersonal problems were assessed by means of a self-report questionnaire. Chronic fatigue was assessed with a self-report questionnaire (both self-rated and clinically-rated) in a primary care Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) group (N = 52) and compared with two other clinical populations (minor medical condition: N = 51; chronic organic disease: N = 52). RESULTS: Compared to patients with a minor medical condition, CFS patients are substantially more fatigued and more socially withdrawn. Compared to patients with a chronic organic disease, somewhat more fatigue-related disability was observed in CFS patients, but no distinct interpersonal problems came to the fore. CFS patients and physicians proved to differ in their opinion on the patient's motivation. In line with the hypothesis, self-rated and clinically-scored fatigue problems proved to be related to a pattern of withdrawal from social interaction. CONCLUSION: Differences between physicians' and patients in how symptoms are interpreted might be related to patients feeling misunderstood and result in social withdrawal. SN - 0091-2174 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19967903/full_citation/Unexplained_chronic_fatigue_and_interpersonal_problems:_a_study_in_a_primary_care_population_ L2 - http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.2190/PM.39.3.h?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -