How fatigue is related to other somatic symptoms

E M van de Putte, R H H Engelbert, W Kuis, J L L Kimpen, C S P M Uiterwaal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: To assess the relation between fatigue and somatic symptoms in healthy adolescents and adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalopathy (CFS/ME).

Methods: Seventy two adolescents with CFS were compared within a cross-sectional study design with 167 healthy controls. Fatigue and somatic complaints were measured using self-report questionnaires, respectively the subscale subjective fatigue of the Checklist Individual Strength (CIS-20) and the Children’s Somatization Inventory.

Results: Healthy adolescents reported the same somatic symptoms as adolescents with CFS/ME, but with a lower score of severity. The top 10 somatic complaints were the same: low energy, headache, heaviness in arms/legs, dizziness, sore muscles, hot/cold spells, weakness in body parts, pain in joints, nausea/upset stomach, back pain. There was a clear positive relation between log somatic symptoms and fatigue (linear regression coefficient: 0.041 points log somatic complaints per score point fatigue, 95% CI 0.033 to 0.049) which did not depend on disease status.

Conclusions: Results suggest a continuum with a gradual transition from fatigue with associated symptoms in healthy adolescents to the symptom complex of CFS/ME.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)824-827
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes


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