Management of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis in a pediatric population: a scoping review, by Sarah S Collard, Jane Murphy in Journal of Child Health Care, 4 Aug 2019 [https://doi.org/10.1177/1367493519864747]
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)/myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) negatively impacts the quality of life for children with the condition. Although up to 2% of children have CFS/ME, the bulk of research investigates adults with CFS/ME. Using the PRISMA extension for a scoping review and the work of Arksey and O’Malley (2005), a scoping review was conducted of all relevant peer-reviewed research investigating nutrition, exercise, and psychosocial factors within a pediatric population diagnosed with CFS/ME.
Key themes found were nutrition and dietary components, exercise therapy, psychosocial factors, and multifaceted treatment. Nutrition was explored on its own as a tool to decrease symptoms; however, there were very few studies found to examine nutritional deficiency or treatment with those under the age of 18.
Graded exercise and resistance training improved fatigue severity and symptoms of depression in adolescents with CFS/ME. Research exploring psychosocial factors of CFS/ME presented attributes that could lead to being diagnosed as well as barriers to treatment. The multifaceted treatment undertaken typically consists of graded activities/exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy, nutritional advice, and family sessions. This has shown to increase school attendance and decrease the severity of the fatigue for adolescents.
Minimal literature exploring CFS/ME within a prepubescent population presents the need for further research.