ME Association endorsed submission to DSM-5 draft criteria

ME Association endorsed submission to DSM-5 draft criteria

Post #37 Shortlink:


Patient organisations, professionals and advocates submissions are being collated on this dedicated Dx Revision Watch page:

If you would like your submission added please get in touch via the Contact form

ME Association (UK)

Submission compiled by Dr Ellen Goudsmit and endorsed by the MEA:

Due to the paucity of reliable and consistent data, the concept of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) should not be included in DSM-5 or a note of caution is required as, at the present time, no scientist can adequately judge whether symptoms are misattributed etc (eg Jason et al, 2005, Lane et al, 2003, McGarry et al 1994, Paul et al 1999). There is more evidence of pathology in subsets and without doing specialist tests, physicians cannot draw firm conclusions.

Any reference to IBS is similarly unhelpful as the symptoms, like CFS, seem to have a multifactorial aetiology and, in the same way, one cannnot assess misattribution, ‘anxiety’ as opposed to valid concern, unless one does specialist tests to judge whether the ‘anxiety’ is justified. Some may have carcinoma of the bowel.

CBT helps some patients, to a degree. The text re CBT goes beyond the evidence. Effect size statistics re CFS tend to be modest (Jason et al 2007, Price et al 2008).


Jason, L.A., Corradi, K., Torres-Harding, S., Taylor R.R., & King, C. (2005). Chronic fatigue syndrome: the need for subtypes. Neuropsychology Review, 15, 29-58.

Jason, LA., Torres-Harding, S., Friedberg, F., Corradi, K., Njoku, MG., Donalek, J et al. (2007) Non-pharmacologic interventions for CFS: A randomized trial. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 14, 275-296.

Lane, Lane, R.J.M., Soteriou, B.A., Zhang, H., & Archard, L.C. (2003). Enterovirus related metabolic myopathy: a  postviral fatigue syndrome. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 74, 1382-1386.

McGarry, F., Gow, J., & Behan, P.O. (1994). Enterovirus in the chronic fatigue syndrome. Annals of Internal Medicine, 120, 972-973.

Paul, L., Wood, L., Behan, W.M.H., & Maclaren, W.M. (1999). Demonstration of delayed recovery from fatiguing exercise in chronic fatigue syndrome. European Journal of Neurology, 6, 63-69.

Price, JR., Mitchell, E., Tidy, E., & Hunot V. Cognitive behaviour therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008; Issue 2. Art No.: CD001027. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001027.pub2.


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