Prevalence and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME and Co-morbid Severe Health Anxiety

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Abstract

Background: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME (CFS/ME) is a debilitating condition that affects 0.2–0.4% of the population. Health focussed anxiety is common across medical conditions, and may be relevant in CFS/ME. This study sought to identify the prevalence and impact of health anxiety (HA) in CFS/ME and evaluate the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for HA in CFS/ME. Method: Cross sectional questionnaire methods and case-series design were used to achieve study aims. Results: Analysis indicated that 41.9% of the CFS/ME clinic sample experienced threshold levels of health anxiety, which was associated with elevated symptom severity across several dimensions.  Stepwise multiple regression indicated physical functioning and depression accounted for 23.8% of variance in fatigue; depression, fatigue and HA, accounted for 32.9% of variance in physical functioning. Large effect sizes and clinically significant changes were generated in the treatment study. Conclusion: HA is common in CFS/ME and likely to exacerbate fatigue and physical functioning. This study identifies HA as an important target for treatment, trial findings should be further replicated on a larger scale.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 13 Nov 2019

Cite this

@article{53010259fba44240a021be5363abe999,
title = "Prevalence and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME and Co-morbid Severe Health Anxiety",
abstract = "Background: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME (CFS/ME) is a debilitating condition that affects 0.2–0.4{\%} of the population. Health focussed anxiety is common across medical conditions, and may be relevant in CFS/ME. This study sought to identify the prevalence and impact of health anxiety (HA) in CFS/ME and evaluate the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for HA in CFS/ME. Method: Cross sectional questionnaire methods and case-series design were used to achieve study aims. Results: Analysis indicated that 41.9{\%} of the CFS/ME clinic sample experienced threshold levels of health anxiety, which was associated with elevated symptom severity across several dimensions.  Stepwise multiple regression indicated physical functioning and depression accounted for 23.8{\%} of variance in fatigue; depression, fatigue and HA, accounted for 32.9{\%} of variance in physical functioning. Large effect sizes and clinically significant changes were generated in the treatment study. Conclusion: HA is common in CFS/ME and likely to exacerbate fatigue and physical functioning. This study identifies HA as an important target for treatment, trial findings should be further replicated on a larger scale.",
author = "Jolene Daniels and Paul Salkovskis and Hannah Parker",
year = "2019",
month = "11",
day = "13",
language = "English",
journal = "Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society",
issn = "1355-6177",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Prevalence and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME and Co-morbid Severe Health Anxiety

AU - Daniels, Jolene

AU - Salkovskis, Paul

AU - Parker, Hannah

PY - 2019/11/13

Y1 - 2019/11/13

N2 - Background: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME (CFS/ME) is a debilitating condition that affects 0.2–0.4% of the population. Health focussed anxiety is common across medical conditions, and may be relevant in CFS/ME. This study sought to identify the prevalence and impact of health anxiety (HA) in CFS/ME and evaluate the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for HA in CFS/ME. Method: Cross sectional questionnaire methods and case-series design were used to achieve study aims. Results: Analysis indicated that 41.9% of the CFS/ME clinic sample experienced threshold levels of health anxiety, which was associated with elevated symptom severity across several dimensions.  Stepwise multiple regression indicated physical functioning and depression accounted for 23.8% of variance in fatigue; depression, fatigue and HA, accounted for 32.9% of variance in physical functioning. Large effect sizes and clinically significant changes were generated in the treatment study. Conclusion: HA is common in CFS/ME and likely to exacerbate fatigue and physical functioning. This study identifies HA as an important target for treatment, trial findings should be further replicated on a larger scale.

AB - Background: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME (CFS/ME) is a debilitating condition that affects 0.2–0.4% of the population. Health focussed anxiety is common across medical conditions, and may be relevant in CFS/ME. This study sought to identify the prevalence and impact of health anxiety (HA) in CFS/ME and evaluate the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for HA in CFS/ME. Method: Cross sectional questionnaire methods and case-series design were used to achieve study aims. Results: Analysis indicated that 41.9% of the CFS/ME clinic sample experienced threshold levels of health anxiety, which was associated with elevated symptom severity across several dimensions.  Stepwise multiple regression indicated physical functioning and depression accounted for 23.8% of variance in fatigue; depression, fatigue and HA, accounted for 32.9% of variance in physical functioning. Large effect sizes and clinically significant changes were generated in the treatment study. Conclusion: HA is common in CFS/ME and likely to exacerbate fatigue and physical functioning. This study identifies HA as an important target for treatment, trial findings should be further replicated on a larger scale.

M3 - Article

JO - Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society

JF - Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society

SN - 1355-6177

ER -