Effects of Time Frame on the Recall Reliability of CFS Symptoms

Meredyth Evans*, Leonard A. Jason

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study serves as an investigation of the reliability of symptom data as reported by individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), across three recall time frames (the past week, the past month, and the past 6 months), and at two assessment points (with 1 week in between each assessment). Multilevel model analyses were used to determine the optimal recall time frame, in terms of test -retest reliability, for each of the Fukuda et al. (1994) case defining symptoms. Results suggested that the optimal time frame for reliably reporting CFS symptoms was six months for sore throat, lymph node pain, muscle pain, post-exertional malaise, headaches, memory/concentration difficulties, and unrefreshing sleep. For joint pain, the optimal time frame was one month. Researchers who are interested in the assessment of CFS symptoms need to take recall time frame into account, especially when the intended goal is to standardize and improve the methods used to reliably and accurately diagnose this complex illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-381
Number of pages15
JournalEvaluation and the Health Professions
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 18 2015

Keywords

  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • health assessment
  • reliability
  • symptom recall
  • time frame

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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