We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

Outcome and Prognosis of Patients With Chronic Fatigue vs Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Charles H. Bombardier, PhD; Dedra Buchwald, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1995;155(19):2105-2110. doi:10.1001/archinte.1995.00430190101014.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


Background:  There are few data on the natural history and prognosis of persons with chronic fatigue (CF) or CF syndrome (CFS). Therefore, we compared functional outcomes in patients with each condition and tested the validity of various prognostic indicators.

Methods:  Four hundred forty-five (89%) of 498 consecutive referral patients were surveyed an average of 1.5 years after an initial evaluation. Data from the initial evaluation were used to predict outcomes.

Results:  Sixty-four percent of all patients reported improvement, but only 2% reported complete resolution of symptoms. Patients initially diagnosed as having CFS reported greater symptom severity and lower level of functioning at follow-up than did patients with CF. Major depression predicted unemployment in the CF group. Older age, longer duration of illness, and a lifetime history of dysthymia predicted less improvement in the CF group. Current dysthymia predicted less improvement for the CFS group.

Conclusions:  The case definition of CFS according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies chronically fatigued patients with poorer prognosis. In a tertiary care setting, recovery from CF or CFS is rare, but improvement is common. Prognostic indicators vary for the two groups, but the coexistence of dysthymia suggests poorer outcomes generally.(Arch Intern Med. 1995;155:2105-2110)


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?





Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

64 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.