Objective: The energy envelope postulates that patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) will improve functioning when maintaining expended energy levels at the same level as available energy level.
Methods: Estimated weekly Energy Quotients were established by dividing expended energy level by perceived energy level and multiplying by 100. Two groups of patients were identified following participation in a non-pharmacologic intervention trial. Some were able to keep expended energy close to available energy and others were not successful at this task.
Results: Those who were able to stay within their energy envelope had significant improvements in physical functioning and fatigue severity.
Conclusion: Findings suggest that helping patients with ME/CFS maintain appropriate energy expenditures in coordination with available energy reserves can help improve functioning over time.
Practice implications: Health care professionals that treat patients with ME/CFS might incorporate strategies that help patients self-monitor and self-regulate energy expenditures.