Study Suggest UK and US ME/CFS Patients May Be Quite Different


Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Lenny Jason and Julia Newton study finds UK ME/CFS patients are more impaired emotionally, mentally and cognitively and more likely to be working, while the US ME/CFS patients have more sudden onset, more trouble falling asleep and were more likely to believe their disease was of physical.

Some of those symptoms in the UK really make sense given the more stressful environment over there regarding ME/CFS. They feel they should keep working (because they don't have a physical disorder) and experience more emotional and mental distress.

A Cross Cultural Comparison of Disability and Symptomatology Associated with CFS - Maria Zdunek1, Leonard A. Jason1, Meredyth Evans1, Rachel Jantke1, Julia L. Newton2
Correspondence to: Maria Zdunek, Center for Community Research, DePaul University, Chicago, USA.

Few studies have compared symptomatology and functional differences experienced by patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) across cultures. The current study compared patients with CFS from the United States (US) to those from the United Kingdom (UK) across areas of functioning, symptomatology, and illness onset characteristics. Individuals in each sample met criteria for CFS as defined by Fukuda et al. (1994). These samples were compared on two measures of disability and impairment, the DePaul Symptom Questionnarie (DSQ) and the Medical outcomes study 36-item short-form health survey (SF-36).

Results revealed that the UK sample was significantly more impaired in terms of mental health and role emotional functioning, as well as specific symptoms of pain, neurocognitive difficulties, and immune manifestations. In addition, the UK sample was more likely to be working rather than on disability.

Individuals in the US sample reported more difficulties falling asleep, more frequently reported experiencing a sudden illness onset (within 24 hours), and more often reported that the cause of illness was primarily due to physical causes.

These findings suggest that there may be important differences in illness characteristics across individuals with CFS in the US and the UK, and this has implications for the comparability of research findings across these two countries.

Keywords: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Cross Cultural Comparison, United States, United Kingdom, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)


Well-Known Member
Do you have a link? I'm curious about the number of rsearch subjects and how they came to be in the study.

Fukuda? That's surprising.

Cultural differences about ME/CFS and it's treatment, health, mental health, emotions, disability, and health care systems must have a huge impact.

Mistreatment causes emotional distress, which causes mental and cognitive PEM. I bet it just turns into one big mess of Post traumatic stress syndrome, mixed with illness exacerbation.

Who Me?

Well-Known Member
I think not have any good physician options in the UK and zero support from the NHS has to add to the stress.


Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
I found it on Facebook but it hasn't shown up on Pubmed yet...

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