Chronic fatigue syndrome and quality of life, by Deb Roberts in Patient Related Outcome Measures Vol 2018, #9, pp 253-262 [Published August 1, 2018]
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a challenging long-term condition (LTC) with complex and fluctuating symptoms. It is heterogeneous in presentation without diagnostic indicators; therefore, in health care encounters, insight must be gained from the patient’s perspective.
One indicator of impact can be gained by measuring quality of life (QoL). By applying a
patient-reported outcome measure (PROM), professionals can gather insights with direct relevance to the patient questioned. Such a tool can act therapeutically tool to promote holistic and individualized professional interventions and interval measurement can inform commissioning of specialist services.
Standard practice appears not fully to capture the experience of CFS, while a search of the literature turned up QoL patient-reported outcome tools, but failed to reveal a CFS/ME-specific measure. The author explores a valid and reliable PROM that can monitor change and evaluate the UK National Institute of Clinical Excellence rehabilitation program, as delivered by specialist National Health Service units.
An alternative, the World Health Organization’s quality-of life instrument (WHOQoL)-Bref26, is reviewed for relevance to the condition, measuring treatment outcomes and the
wider debate of measuring QoL in LTCs.