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ME/CFS Symptom Checklist
Please contact CDC ME/CFS Program (cfs@cdc.gov) for obtaining the instrument and scoring algorithm.
Core: Myalgic encephalomyelitis/Chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) (Alternatively, the full DePaul Symptom Questionnaire may be used.)
Short Description of Instrument
The ME/CFS Symptom Checklist is a self-reported set of questions including the CDC Symptom Inventory for CFS and non-overlapping questions from the DePaul Symptom Questionnaire (questions 14-19, 32-34, 45-66) following the approach used as part of the Multi-Site Clinical Assessment of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (MCAM) study. Initial questions ask about the history of fatiguing illness, effect of fatigue on function and effect of rest on fatigue. Questions from the CDC Symptom Inventory query symptom presence, frequency and intensity over the past month. Symptoms included are fatigue, sore throat, tender lymph nodes and swollen glands, diarrhea, fatigue after exertion, muscle aches and pains, joint pain, fever, chills, unrefreshing sleep, sleeping problems, headaches, memory problems, concentration, nausea, stomach or abdominal pain, sinus or nasal problems, shortness of breath, sensitivity to light, depression, and other symptoms. Patients are also asked to indicate their most bothersome symptom. Twenty-six questions from the DePaul Symptom Questionnaire ask about frequency and severity of additional symptoms over the past 6 months. This combination covers all symptoms included in current research case definitions.
It is essential for every study of ME/CFS to collect detailed information about the duration of the illness, onset of illness and symptoms of the illness. — This is an illness defined exclusively by symptoms, and application of each of the current case definitions of ME/CFS requires detailed information on frequency and severity of symptoms.
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