Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Reports of recovery in chronic fatigue syndrome may present less than meets the eye
  1. Fred Friedberg,
  2. Jenna Adamowicz
  1. Department of Psychiatry, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Fred Friedberg, fred.friedberg{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

What is already known on this topic?

The definitions of recovery in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are numerous, as are the amount of intervention and naturalistic studies designed to assess illness recovery.1 In a recent systematic review of 22 studies, recovery percentages ranged from 0% to 66%.1 White et al report a recovery rate of 22% to 23% in their active behavioural intervention conditions. This rate corresponds with findings of a previous intervention study in CFS that used similar recovery criteria.2

What this paper adds?

  • A controlled comparison of three recognised behavioural interventions for CFS incorporating an unusually large sample (thus, greater power) in comparison to previous clinical trials.

  • The use of multiple case definitions of CFS with varying criteria to assess clinical recovery. Thus, the percentage of patients who no longer met full illness criteria can be determined with reference to several definitions, rather than just one.

  • Operationalised criteria for recovery that include both symptom and functional changes as informed by population data. Such precise criteria make clear how recovery …

View Full Text


  • Competing interests None.