Chronic fatigue syndrome


Report of a joint working group of the Royal Colleges of Physicians, Psychiatrists and General Practitioners

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a debilitating condition affecting young and old of any social group and occupation. It is the expression of the interplay of physical and psychological factors and therefore needs to be treated with a joint medical and psychological approach, requiring sympathy and understanding not only from health professionals but also from the sufferer's relatives and employers, and from officialdom.

This report (published in 1996) aimed to provide the information necessary for knowledge-based care and indicate what facilities and services provisions were required for the management of CFS in primary health care. The report also points to the need for well-defined research endeavours and clinical trials, and includes a summary for commissioners of health care.


  • Terms of reference
  • Background
  • Definitions
  • Epidemiology
  • Virology
  • Muscle dysfunction and immunology
  • Psychiatry and neuropsychiatry
  • Presentation, assessment, investigation and prognosis
  • Management
  • Children and CFS
  • Future research
  • Facilities and service provision
  • Conclusions
  • Summary for health care commissioners (appendix)

Copies available on request.

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