Health-related quality of life in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome: an international study.
Hardt J., Buchwald D., Wilks D., Sharpe M., Nix WA., Egle UT.
OBJECTIVE: Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) has been reported worldwide. Our objectives were to determine if patients from different countries have similar profiles of impairments. METHODS: Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) was assessed in 740 CFS patients in the US, 82 in the UK, and 65 in Germany using the eight subscales of the Short-Form General Health Survey (SF-36). To examine the internal structure, factor analyses were performed. RESULTS: Overall, there was a remarkable similarity in HRQoL among all CFS patients, regardless of location. Patients scored two to three standard deviations below normal on six subscales and one standard deviation below normal on the other two subscales. Factor analysis suggested a two-factor model where the same six subscales constitute the first factor and the two others the second factor. CONCLUSION: HRQoL is poor in CFS patients from three countries. This study is a first step towards conducting further comparative cross-cultural and international studies.