Problems in defining post-exertional malaise

Leonard A. Jason*, Meredyth Evans, Suzanna So, Jilian Scott, Abigail Brown

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Post-exertional malaise (PEM) is a cardinal symptom of the illnesses referred to as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). PEM is reported to occur in many of these patients, and with several criteria (e.g., ME and ME/CFS), this symptom is mandatory (Carruthers etal., 2003, 2011). In the present study, 32 participants diagnosed with CFS (Fukuda etal., 1994) were examined on their responses to self-report items that were developed to capture the characteristics and patterns of PEM. As shown in the results, the slight differences in wording for various items may affect whether one is determined to have PEM according to currently used self-report criteria to assess CFS. Better understanding of how this symptom is assessed might help improve the diagnostic reliability and validity of ME, ME/CFS, and CFS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-31
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015


  • Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
  • Myalgic Encephalomyelitisl chronic fatigue syndrome
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • post-exertional malaise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Problems in defining post-exertional malaise'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this