Issues in Estimating Rates of Pediatric Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis in a Community-based Sample

Avicenna J Neuropsychophysiol. 2015 Nov;2(4):e37281. doi: 10.17795/ajnpp-37281. Epub 2015 Nov 21.

Abstract

There is a need to examine the prevalence of pediatric chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) in the general community, as well as the relative frequency of CFS and ME among various groups (e.g., different age groups, genders, racial/ethnic groups, and socioeconomic strata) and to compare these individuals with community controls. In the present study, we describe an ongoing NIH-funded study, which uses a multiple-stage design, beginning with a brief screening for CFS- and ME-like symptomatology, followed by a more rigorous medical and psychiatric diagnostic evaluation to determine the prevalence of pediatric CFS and ME status in the general community. We provide two case studies showing the types of data we are collecting, and how the data are being used to inform diagnostic decisions.

Keywords: case definition; chronic fatigue syndrome; epidemiology; myalgic encephalomyelitis.