Approaching recovery from myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome: Challenges to consider in research and practice, by Andrew R Devendorf, Carly T Jackson, Madison Sunnquist, Leonard A Jason in J Health Psychol. 2017 Nov 1 [First Published November 28, 2017, Epub ahead of print]
There are unique methodological challenges to studying and assessing recovery in myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome.
This study explored these challenges through interviewing 13 physicians who treat myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Our deductive thematic analysis produced four themes to consider when approaching recovery:
- lifespan differences in the illness experience;
- the heterogeneity of myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome-case definitions, etiological stance, and misdiagnosis;
- patient follow-up and selection bias;
- and assessment logistics.
We discuss how researchers and clinicians can use these considerations when working with patients, drafting recovery criteria, and interpreting treatment outcomes.