An examination of factors associated with successful adaptation to chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome in adolescence

Timothy J. Hynick (1996)

This study examined the relationship between the variables of coping style, social support, functional impact of fatigue, and perceived self-competence in a sample of patients who experienced Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) during their adolescence. This study found that both adaptive and maladaptive coping styles were positively correlated with the functional impact of fatigue, and negatively correlated with perceived self-competence. There was no significant correlation between the degree of social support and levels of functional impact of fatigue although social support was positively associated with perceived self-competence. Significantly higher levels of fatigue were reported among subjects who were currently under the care of a physician, receiving medical treatment, and who actively sought out information on their illness. There also appeared to be a relationship between subjects' involvement in treatment and their views of their social competencies. Perceptions of self-competency did not seem to be associated with subjects' involvement in treatment or pursuit of information about their illness. This study highlights the pervasive role of fatigue as a critical variable in CFIDS as this study failed to identify interventions which were instrumental in helping CFIDS patients cope with their illness. There is clearly a need for psychologists to continue to conduct additional research in the area of coping and Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome.