Psychiatric management of PVFS.
Psychiatric management of PVFS (considered as a subtype of CFS) is a pragmatic approach to a disorder for which strictly biomedical treatments have so far had little to offer. Psychiatric assessment embraces a comprehensive (biopsychosocial) approach, and distinguishes factors that perpetuate the condition from those that may have precipitated it. Treatments are targeted at perpetuating factors. Few controlled treatment trials have been reported in patients selected specifically as meeting criteria for CFS. There is evidence available, however, that suggests useful management strategies. An uncontrolled study of treatment of CFS with combined antidepressant drug and psychological treatment has produced promising results. In addition there is useful evidence arising from the study and treatment of the individual symptoms of CFS, occurring both in isolation as part of other syndromes. The results of controlled trials of antidepressant drugs, and of psychological and rehabilitative treatment are awaited. It is already possible to offer provisional guidelines for treatment.