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Neuraesthenia Revisited: ICD–10 and DSM–III–R Psychiatric Syndromes in Chronic Fatigue Patients and Comparison Subjects

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Anne Farmer*
Affiliation:
The Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Wales College of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff
Irene Jones
Affiliation:
The Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Wales College of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff
Janis Hillier
Affiliation:
The Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Wales College of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff
Meirion Llewelyn
Affiliation:
Department of Medicine, University of Wales College of Medicine
Leszek Borysiewicz
Affiliation:
Department of Medicine, University of Wales College of Medicine
Andrew Smith
Affiliation:
The Department of Psychology, University of Bristol, 8 Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1TN
*
Anne Farmer, The Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Wales College of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff CF4 4XN

Abstract

Background

Different definitions of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) have different psychiatric exclusion criteria and this affects the type and frequency of associated psychiatric morbidity found. The operational criteria for neuraesthenia in ICD–10 vary in this and other respects from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for CFS. Neuraesthenia and associated psychiatric morbidity in CDC-defined CFS are evaluated.

Method

CFS subjects and controls were interviewed with the Schedule for the Clinical Assessment of Neuropsychiatry (SCAN). The computerised scoring program for SCAN (CATEG05) facilitates the assignment of operational definitions according to DSM–III–R and ICD–10. Subjects were re-interviewed with SCAN an average of 11 months later. No specific treatments or interventions were given during this period.

Results

The majority of subjects fulfilled ICD–10 operational criteria for neuraesthenia and had two and a half times the rate of psychiatric morbidity as the healthy comparison group according to the CATEG05 Index of Definition (ID). Approximately 80% of subjects fulfilled both DSM–III–R and ICD–10 criteria for sleep disorders. There was a significant fall in the number of subjects fulfilling criteria for depression and anxiety disorders and a significant increase in the number of subjects with no diagnosis for DSM–III–R criteria over time. There were no significant changes over time for any diagnosis according to ICD–10 criteria or for overall levels of psychopathology as reflected in CATEG05 ID levels.

Conclusions

The ICD–10 ‘neuraesthenia’ definition identifies almost all subjects with CDC-defined CFS. Fifty per cent of CFS subjects also had depressive or anxiety disorders, some categories of which remit spontaneously over time.

Type
Papers
Copyright
Copyright © 1995 The Royal College of Psychiatrists 

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