Research abstract:

OBJECTIVE: Persistent fatigue and depressive symptoms are both highly prevalent among patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) as well as breast cancer survivors. This study aimed to assess and directly compare perceptions of fatigue as highly interfering in one’s daily functioning in both patient populations to better understand their relationships with depressed mood.

METHODS: Participants were 95 female CFS/ME patients and 67 females who were approximately 5 years post-treatment for stage 0-III breast cancer presenting with clinically elevated fatigue severity. Self-report measures were obtained on participants’ fatigue-related interference in daily functioning and fatigue severity as well as depressed mood. Hierarchical regression was used to test effects controlling for relevant demographic, psychosocial, and medical covariates.

RESULTS: CFS/ME patients endorsed greater depressed mood and fatigue interference than did fatigued breast cancer survivors, p’s<.001. These factors were significantly positively correlated among CFS/ME patients (β=.36, p<.001), but not the fatigued breast cancer survivors (β=.18, p=.19).

CONCLUSIONS: CFS/ME patients reported elevated fatigue symptoms and depression relative to fatigued breast cancer survivors. In the former group, greater depressed mood was highly and significantly associated with greater fatigue-related inference in daily activities. Potential targets for cognitive behavioral interventions are discussed.

Perceived fatigue interference and depressed mood: comparison of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis patients with fatigued breast cancer survivors, by Daniel L. Hall, Michael H. Antonia, Emily G. Lattie, Devika R. Jutagir, Sara J. Czajac, Dolores Perdomo, Suzanne C. Lechner, Jamie M. Stagl, Laura C. Bouchard, Lisa M. Gudenkauf, Lara Traeger, Mary Ann Fletcher & Nancy G. Klimas et al. in Fatigue, 2015; 3(3): 142-155

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