A prospective study of the psychiatric & medical characteristics of post-infective fatigue & chronic fatigue syndrome. [ 2001 - 2005 ]

Also known as: Do some chronic fatigue states result directly from infectious illnesses?

Research Grant

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Researchers: Prof Ian Hickie (Principal investigator) ,  Ms Tracey Davenport Prof Andrew Lloyd Prof Denis Wakefield

Brief description This project forms the central component of a larger set of studies which investigate competing psychiatric, immunological and infective models of the causes of a number of chronic fatigue syndromes, including post-infective fatigue. The study takes place in western NSW where certain viral illnesses (Glandular Fever, Ross River Virus) and a non-viral infection (QF) are common and have been associated with prolonged fatigue states. The study follows patients from laboratory-documented infections with appropriate infective, immunological and psychological measures throughout the course of their acute illness, the early recovery period and for the next 12 months. These patients are compared with people who present to their doctor with other forms of medically-unexplained fatigue. Very few previous studies have used an appropriate prospective design and followed patients with documented illness from the onset through to the development of specific forms of chronic fatigue. Further, the study is unique in terms of the range of viral and non-viral agents being investigated. It relies on the combined psychiatric, immunological and infective disease expertise of a group of researchers with an international reputation for the successful completion of such multidisciplinary projects. The initial phase of the study has demonstrated that the research team has the capacity to complete this project. Initial results have already demonstrated the potential roles of psychological and immunological factors in causing some cases of prolonged fatigue. Further, the initial results indicate that two key symptom sets (fatigue, psychological distress) can be adequately measured during the recovery phase and are predicted by differing psychological factors. The study will result in the identification of different psychiatric risk factors to chronic fatigue, assist development of clear diagnostic guidelines for post-infective fatigue and guide relevant aetiological and treatment research.

Funding Amount $AUD 500,000.00

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Epidemiology

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