Cognitive and behavioural responses to symptoms in adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome: A case-control study nested within a cohort.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:What adolescents think about symptoms and what they do in response could contribute to fatigue maintenance. We compared the cognitive and behavioural responses of adolescents and their parents with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS; N?=?121) and asthma (N?=?27) and explored the predictive value of these variables on fatigue and functioning in CFS. METHOD:Consecutively referred adolescents with CFS were recruited. Questionnaires, completed by adolescents and parents, assessed fatigue, functioning, mood and cognitive and behavioural responses to symptoms. Age-matched adolescents with asthma completed the same questionnaires. Adolescents with CFS completed questionnaires again approximately 3?months later. RESULTS:Adolescents with CFS scored higher on all unhelpful cognitive and behavioural subscales than adolescents with asthma. Parents' cognitions about their child's symptoms were associated with adolescent's own cognitions. Unhelpful cognitive and behavioural responses, particularly, damage beliefs, predicted subsequent fatigue in CFS, and all-or-nothing behaviour, catastrophising and damage beliefs predicted subsequent physical functioning. CONCLUSION:Unhelpful cognitive and behavioural responses to symptoms appear to be particularly prominent in adolescents with CFS. There is some consistency but not a perfect match between cognitive and behavioural responses to symptoms reported by adolescents and their parents. These responses could be contributing to fatigue maintenance and disability.
Project description:Objectives: To investigate perfectionism and beliefs about emotions in adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and their parents. Design: Case-control comparing adolescents (age 11-18) with CFS (N?=?121), asthma (N?=?27) and healthy controls (N?=?78) with a 3-month follow up for CFS participants. Main outcome measures: Adolescents: Chalder Fatigue Questionnaire, physical functioning, Beliefs about Emotions scale (BES), Child and Adolescent Perfectionism Scale, Frost Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (FMPS). Parents: BES, FMPS, Self-sacrificing scale, Affective styles questionnaire. Results: Adolescents with CFS did not consistently report higher levels of perfectionism and unhelpful beliefs about emotions than adolescents with asthma or healthy adolescents. Mothers' and adolescents' beliefs about emotions and unhelpful perfectionism were significantly associated (p = .007). Linear regression found that neither adolescent perfectionism nor beliefs about emotions accounted for variance in subsequent fatigue or physical functioning. Conclusion: Parental perfectionism and emotion regulation style may contribute to perfectionism in adolescents with CFS. Parental representations could contribute to fatigue maintenance.
Project description:BACKGROUND:To better understand the maintenance of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a valid and reliable measure of cognitive and behavioural responses to symptoms is required. Such a measure could also assess beliefs and coping behaviours in the context of fatigue in other somatic conditions. AIMS:We aimed to establish the psychometric properties of both the Cognitive and Behavioural Responses Questionnaire (CBRQ) and its shortened version (CBRQ-S) in adolescents with CFS. METHOD:The full questionnaire was completed by a clinical cohort of adolescents (n = 121) presenting to specialist CFS units in the UK. RESULTS:Both the CBRQ and CBRQ-S had good internal consistency. The CBRQ scores were strongly associated with depression, anxiety, school and social functioning, but weakly associated with fatigue and physical functioning, providing evidence of validity. CONCLUSION:Both the 40-item and the 18-item versions of the CBRQ were found to be reliable and valid in adolescents with CFS. To minimize unnecessary burden, the 18-item version is favoured. Using this assessment tool in future studies, including intervention studies, may help to better target interventions during clinical practice and improve outcomes.
Project description:Objective:As part of a larger qualitative study to explore outcomes important in paediatric chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalopathy (CFS/ME) and what improvements in fatigue and disability are key, interviews were undertaken with adolescents and their parents. This paper focuses on their descriptions of fatigue, fluctuation of symptoms and payback. Design and setting:Semistructured qualitative interviews were undertaken between December 2014 and February 2015. Adolescents and parents were interviewed separately. Participants were recruited from a single specialist paediatric chronic fatigue service. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Participants:We interviewed 21 adolescents and their parents (20 mothers and 2 fathers). The adolescents were aged between 12 and 17 years of age (mean age 14.4 years), mild to moderately affected by CFS/ME (not housebound) and the majority were female (16/21). Results:All adolescents with CFS/ME reported fatigue, a natural fluctuation of the condition, with good days and bad days as well as an increase in symptoms after activity (payback). However, adolescent's descriptions of fatigue, symptoms and the associated impact on their daily lives differed. The variations included: fatigue versus a collection of symptoms, constant versus variable symptoms and variable symptom severity. There were differences between participants in the amount of activity taken to cause payback. The impact of fatigue and symptoms on function ranged from: limiting the duration and amount of leisure activities, struggling with daily activities (eg, self-care) to no activity (sedentary). Conclusions:Fatigue, fluctuation of the condition and payback after activity are described by all adolescents with CFS/ME in this study. However, the individual experience in terms of how they describe it and the degree and impact varies.
Project description:Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is increasingly recognized as a cause of disability and inactivity in adolescents in the Netherlands. CFS is characterized by unexplained fatigue lasting more than 6 months. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has proven to be effective. However, CBT availability for adolescents with CFS is limited and requires special therapeutic skills not always readily available. An alternative to the face-to-face CBT is FITNET, a web-based therapeutic program designed specifically for adolescents diagnosed with CFS, and their parents. This new CBT approach appeals to the modern youth, who grow up with internet as their main source of information. A web-based program offers the opportunity to lower thresholds for the acceptance and realization of healthcare. This treatment can be activated at any chosen time. The communication between patient and therapist can elapse asynchronously. If effective, this web-based program would greatly increase the therapeutic accessibility.A randomized clinical trial is currently conducted. One-hundred-forty adolescents aged 12-18 years diagnosed with CFS will be recruited and randomized to one of two groups: FITNET or usual care. After 6 months, the usual care group will have access to the FITNET program. Outcomes will be assessed at baseline, post intervention, and at 6 months follow-up. Primary outcome measures are school presence, fatigue severity, and physical functioning.The FITNET study is the first randomized clinical trial which evaluates the effect of web-based CBT versus usual care in adolescents with CFS. The intervention is based on a theoretical existing model of CBT for patients with CFS. The results of this study will provide information about the possibility and efficacy of web-based CBT for adolescents with CFS and will reveal predictors of efficacy.ISRCTN: ISRCTN59878666 and ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00893438.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Persistent physical symptoms (PPS), also known as medically unexplained symptoms (MUS), affect approximately 50% of patients in secondary care and are often associated with disability, psychological distress and increased health care costs. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has demonstrated both short- and long-term efficacy with small to medium effect sizes for PPS, with larger treatment effects for specific PPS syndromes, including non-cardiac chest pain, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Research indicates that PPS conditions share similar cognitive and behavioural responses to symptoms, such as avoidance and unhelpful beliefs. This suggests that a transdiagnostic approach may be beneficial for patients with PPS. METHODS:A randomised controlled trial (RCT) will be conducted to evaluate the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a transdiagnostic CBT-based intervention for PPS. 322 participants with PPS will be recruited from secondary care clinics. Participants stratified by clinic and disability level will be randomised to CBT plus standard medical care (SMC) versus SMC alone. The intervention consists of 8 CBT sessions delivered by a qualified therapist over a period of 20?weeks. Outcomes will be assessed at 9, 20, 40- and 52-weeks post randomisation. Efficacy will be assessed by examining the difference between arms in the primary outcome Work and Social Adjustment Scale (WSAS) at 52?weeks after randomisation. Secondary outcomes will include mood, symptom severity and clinical global impression at 9, 20, 40 and 52?weeks. Cost-effectiveness will be evaluated by combining measures of health service use, informal care, loss of working hours and financial benefits at 52?weeks. DISCUSSION:This trial will provide a powered evaluation of the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a transdiagnostic CBT approach versus SMC for patients with PPS. It will also provide valuable information about potential healthcare pathways for patients with PPS within the National Health Service (NHS). TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02426788. Registered 27 April 2015. Overall trial status: Ongoing; Recruitment status: No longer recruiting.
Project description:AIM:To study health related quality of life (HRQOL) and depressive symptoms in adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and to investigate in which domains their HRQOL and depressive symptoms differ from those of healthy adolescents. BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:Several symptoms such as disabling fatigue, pain and depressive symptoms affect different life domains of adolescents with CFS. Compared to adolescents with other chronic diseases, young people with CFS are reported to be severely impaired, both physiologically and mentally. Despite this, few have investigated the HRQOL in this group. METHOD:This is a cross-sectional study on HRQOL including 120 adolescents with CFS and 39 healthy controls (HC), between 12 and 18 years. The Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory™, 4.0 (PedsQL) was used to assess HRQOL. The Mood and Feelings Questionnaire assessed depressive symptoms. Data were collected between March 2010 and October 2012 as part of the NorCAPITAL project (Norwegian Study of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Adolescents: Pathophysiology and Intervention Trial). Linear and logistic regression models were used in analysis, and all tests were two-sided. RESULTS:Adolescents with CFS reported significantly lower overall HRQOL compared to HCs. When controlling for gender differences, CFS patients scored 44 points lower overall HRQOL on a scale from 0-100 compared to HCs. The domains with the largest differences were interference with physical health (B?=?-59, 95 % CI -54 to -65) and school functioning (B?=?-52, 95 % CI -45 to -58). Both depressive symptoms and being a patient were independently associated with lower levels of HRQOL CONCLUSION: The difference in HRQOL between CFS patients and healthy adolescents was even larger than we expected. The large sample of adolescents with CFS in our study confirms previous findings from smaller studies, and emphasizes that CFS is a seriously disabling condition that has a strong impact on their HRQOL. Even though depressive symptoms were found in the group of patients, they could not statistically explain the poor HRQOL.
Project description:Comorbid depression is common in adolescents with chronic illness. We aimed to design and test a linguistic coding scheme for identifying depression in adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), by exploring features of e-consultations within online cognitive behavioural therapy treatment. E-consultations of 16 adolescents (aged 11-17) receiving FITNET-NHS (Fatigue in teenagers on the interNET in the National Health Service) treatment in a national randomized controlled trial were examined. A theoretically driven linguistic coding scheme was developed and used to categorize comorbid depression in e-consultations using computerized content analysis. Linguistic coding scheme categorization was subsequently compared with classification of depression using the Revised Children's Anxiety and Depression Scale published cut-offs (t-scores ?65, ?70). Extra linguistic elements identified deductively and inductively were compared with self-reported depressive symptoms after unblinding. The linguistic coding scheme categorized three (19%) of our sample consistently with self-report assessment. Of all 12 identified linguistic features, differences in language use by categorization of self-report assessment were found for "past focus" words (mean rank frequencies: 1.50 for no depression, 5.50 for possible depression, and 10.70 for probable depression; p < .05) and "discrepancy" words (mean rank frequencies: 16.00 for no depression, 11.20 for possible depression, and 6.40 for probable depression; p < .05). The linguistic coding profile developed as a potential tool to support clinicians in identifying comorbid depression in e-consultations showed poor value in this sample of adolescents with CFS/ME. Some promising linguistic features were identified, warranting further research with larger samples.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To investigate differences between young children, adolescents and adults with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME). STUDY DESIGN:Comparison of clinical cohorts from 8 paediatric and 27 adult CFS/ME services in the UK and a paediatric randomised controlled trial from the Netherlands. Outcome measures include: fatigue (the UK-Chalder Fatigue Scale); Disability (the UK-SF-36 physical function subscale; the Netherlands-CHQ-CF87); school attendance, pain, anxiety and depression (the UK-Hospital Anxiety & Depression Scale, Spence Children's Anxiety Scale; the Netherlands-Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children, Children's Depression Inventory); symptoms; time-to-assessment; and body mass index. We used multinomial regression to compare younger (aged <12 years) and older (aged 12-18 years) children with adults, and logistic regression to compare UK and Dutch adolescents. RESULTS:Younger children had a more equal gender balance compared to adolescents and adults. Adults had more disability and fatigue, and had been ill for longer. Younger children were less likely to have cognitive symptoms (OR 0.18 (95% CI 0.13 to 0.25)) and more likely to present with a sore throat (OR 1.42 (1.07 to 1.90). Adolescents were more likely to have headaches (81.1%, OR 1.56 (1.36% to 1.80%)) and less likely to have tender lymph nodes, palpitations, dizziness, general malaise and pain, compared to adults. Adolescents were more likely to have comorbid depression (OR 1.51 (1.33 to 1.72)) and less likely to have anxiety (OR 0.46 (0.41 to 0.53)) compared to adults. CONCLUSIONS:Paediatricians need to recognise that children with CFS/ME present differently from adults. Whether these differences reflect an underlying aetiopathology requires further investigation. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBERS:FITNET trial registration numbers are ISRCTN59878666 and NCT00893438. This paper includes secondary (post-results) analysis of data from this trial, but are unrelated to trial outcomes.
Project description:Objectives:Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) is common in children and adolescents; however, little is known about how we should define recovery. This study aims to explore perceptions of recovery held by paediatric patients with CFS/ME and their parents. Methods:Children with CFS/ME and their parents were recruited through a single specialist paediatric CFS/ME service. Data were collected through semistructured interviews with children and parents. The interview questions explored how participants would know if they/their child had recovered from CFS/ME. Thematic analysis was used to identify patterns within the data. Results:Twenty-one children with CFS/ME, twenty mothers and two fathers were interviewed. Some children found it hard to define recovery as the illness had become a 'new normal'. Others thought recovery would indicate returning to pre-morbid levels of activity or achieving the same activity level as peers (socialising, education and leisure activities). Increased flexibility in routines and the absence of payback after activities were important. The interviews highlighted the concept of recovery as highly individual with wide variation in symptoms experienced, type and level of activity that would signify recovery. Parents describe how changes in mood and motivation would signify their child's recovery, but children did not reflect on this. Conclusion:Some parents and children struggle to define what would constitute complete recovery. However, signs of recovery were more easily identifiable. Definitions of recovery went far beyond symptom reduction and were focused towards rebuilding lives.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To compare cognitive function in adolescents with chronic fatigue with cognitive function in healthy controls (HC). STUDY DESIGN:Cross-sectional study. SETTING:Paediatric department at Oslo University Hospital, Norway. PARTICIPANTS:120 adolescents with chronic fatigue (average age 15.4 years; range 12-18) and 39 HC (average age 15.2 years; range 12-18). METHODS:The adolescents completed a neurocognitive test battery measuring processing speed, working memory, cognitive inhibition, cognitive flexibility, verbal learning and verbal memory, and questionnaires addressing demographic data, depression symptoms, anxiety traits, fatigue and sleep problems. Parents completed the Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), which measures the everyday executive functions of children. RESULTS:Adolescents with chronic fatigue had impaired cognitive function compared to HC regarding processing speed (mean difference 3.3, 95% CI 1.1 to 5.5, p=0.003), working memory (-2.4, -3.7 to -1.1, p<0.001), cognitive inhibition response time (6.2, 0.8 to 11.7, p=0.025) and verbal learning (-1.7, -3.2 to -0.3, p=0.022). The BRIEF results indicated that everyday executive functions were significantly worse in the chronic fatigue group compared to the HC (11.2, 8.2 to 14.3, p<0.001). Group differences remained largely unaffected when adjusted for symptoms of depression, anxiety traits and sleep problems. CONCLUSIONS:Adolescents with chronic fatigue had impaired cognitive function of clinical relevance, measured by objective cognitive tests, in comparison to HC. Working memory and processing speed may represent core difficulties.