Longitudinal changes associated with improvement in chronic fatigue patients

Joan Russo, Wayne Katon, Michael Clark, Phalla Kith, Mariana Sintay, Dedra Buchwald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Tertiary care patients with chronic fatigue were followed for 2.5 years to determine if changes in physical and psychological status were associated with improvements in chronic fatigue, physical functioning, and return to work. Results indicated that improvement in psychological symptoms, DSM-III-R disorders, physical examination signs, and changes in whether the patient continued to meet criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) were associated with recovery from fatigue, improved functioning, and return to work. Patients who never met CFS criteria or only met criteria at the initial assessment, reported improved physical functioning. Patients whose psychiatric disorders and physical examination signs were still present at a mean follow-up time of 2.5 years were more likely to have persistent fatigue and work disability. Loss of physical examination signs was a significant independent predictor of improved functioning and return to work. These results suggest that psychiatric status, as well as physical status, are associated with recovery from chronic fatigue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-76
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1998


  • Chronic fatigue
  • Longitudinal changes
  • Physical functioning
  • Psychiatry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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