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School Functioning In Adolescents With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Sunday 7 October 2018


From Frontiers in Pediatrics:



School functioning in adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome

Front. Pediatr. | doi: 10.3389/fped.2018.00302

Sarah J. Knight1, 2, 3, Jennifer Politis1, Christine Garnham1, Adam Scheinberg1, 2, 3, 4 and Michelle Tollit1, 2, 3

1Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Australia
2The University of Melbourne, Australia
3Royal Children's Hospital, Australia
4Monash University, Australia

© 2018 Knight, Politis, Garnham, Scheinberg and Tollit.

Background: It is well known that adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) experience greater school absenteeism compared to healthy adolescents. Less is known about other important aspects of school functioning including school participation, school connectedness and academic performance in students with CFS. The aim of this study was to compare school functioning as a multifaceted construct in adolescents with CFS to healthy adolescent peers. We also explored whether illness factors were associated with school functioning in adolescents with CFS.

Methods: Thirty-nine participants with CFS and 28 healthy controls (aged 13-17 years) completed a range of subjective and objective measures of school functioning, as well as measures of fatigue and emotional symptoms.

Results: Adolescents with CFS demonstrated significantly higher rates of school absence, as well as poorer school-related quality of life, reduced school participation, poorer connectedness with school, and reduced academic performance. Fatigue severity and emotional symptoms were significantly associated with most aspects of school function.

Conclusions: Adolescents with CFS are at increased risk for poor school functioning across a range of indicators which extend beyond school absenteeism.


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