Objective: There is a need for natural history chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) studies from random, community-based, multi-ethnic populations.
Design: The present study examined the course of CFS from Wave 1 to Wave 2, which spanned over a ten year period of time, and, assessed whether socio-environmental and symptomatology factors were associated with CFS status over the ten year period.
Results: There was relative stability over time on critical measures of disability, fatigue, support, optimism and coping over time. One cardinal symptoms of CFS, post-exertional malaise, best differentiated the CFS group from the others. By Wave 2, of the original group of 32 individuals diagnosed with CFS, 4 had died, and 24 were found and agreed to be re-evaluated, and of this group, 16 continued to have CFS, 5 developed exclusionary illnesses, 2 were classified as Idiopathic chronic fatigue, and one had remitted.
Conclusions: The current study found that over time in a community-based sample, unbiased by help seeking behavior the CFS group remained rather ill with a variety of different conditions over time.
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