Depression in paediatric chronic fatigue syndrome

posted 30 Nov 2013, 08:24 by Damian Wood   [ updated 30 Nov 2013, 08:27 ]
Helen Bould and colleagues writing in the June 2013 edition of Archives of Disease in Childhood attempt to describe the prevalence of depression in children with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)/myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and investigate the relationship between depression in CFS/ME and clinical symptoms such as fatigue, disability, pain and school attendance. Their cross-sectional survey data from 542 young people aged 12-18 yrs living in the South West of England revealed 29% had depression (defined as score >9 on the HADS depression scale).  Female sex, poorer school attendance, and higher levels of fatigue, disability, pain, and anxiety were associated with higher odds of depression whilst age of child and duration of illness were not. In a multivariable analysis, the factors most strongly associated with depression were disability, with higher scores on the physical function subscale of the 36 item Short Form (SF-36). The authors conclude that depression is much more common in young people with CFS/ME (x10) and is associated with markers of disease severity. They suggest it is important to screen for, identify and treat depression in this population.