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Category 1 Credit

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Technical Requirements

Disease Management Clinical Decisions

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Key Points


  1. Diagnostic criteria established by the CDC define CFS to be present when there is fatigue lasting at least 6 months associated with decreased functional activity and somatic symptoms, and the symptoms must be not attributable to another disease.
  2. There are no physical findings or laboratory abnormalities unique to CFS, the diagnostic process requires a careful history and physical exam, mental status screening, and a core set of laboratory tests.
  3. Before a diagnosis of CFS is made, other treatable causes of fatigue must be excluded.
  4. Both graded exercise therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy have been proved effective in managing CFS when combined with specialist medical care.
  5. CFS is not associated with increased mortality but does reduce quality of life.
  6. The following are predictors of poor prognosis in CFS: longer duration of illness, depression and anxiety, higher level of fatigue, and attributing the syndrome to a physical cause.