Patient Outcomes in Association With Significant Other Responses to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Rebecca Band, Alison Wearden, Christine Barrowclough
2015 Clinical Psychology  
Social processes have been suggested as important in the maintenance of chronic fatigue syndrome (also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis; CFS/ME), but the specific role of close interpersonal relationships remains unclear. We reviewed 14 articles investigating significant other responses to close others with CFS/ME and the relationships between these responses and patient outcomes. Significant other beliefs attributing patient responsibility for the onset and ongoing symptoms of CFS/ME were
more » ... ociated with increased patient distress. Increased symptom severity, disability, and distress were also associated with both solicitous and negative significant other responses. Specific aspects of dyadic relationship quality, including high Expressed Emotion, were identified as important. We propose extending current theoretical models of CFS/ME to include two potential perpetuating interpersonal processes; the evidence reviewed suggests that the development of significant other-focused interventions may also be beneficial.
doi:10.1111/cpsp.12093 pmid:26617440 pmcid:PMC4654336 fatcat:sf2ggvkpmfckbi7q7zqvjjujny