CDC research - characteristics of empirical definition patients

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by QuayMan, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. QuayMan

    QuayMan Member

    (This is a little technical)

    (From Co-Cure)

    The following paper uses the empirical criteria (Reeves, 2005) to define CFS:

    An evaluation of exclusionary medical/psychiatric conditions in the
    definition of chronic fatigue syndrome.
    Jones JF, Lin JM, Maloney EM, Boneva RS, Nater UM, Unger ER, Reeves WC.
    BMC Med. 2009 Oct 12;7(1):57.


    If one goes to Table 6, and look at the "No" column (as in "no exclusionary
    conditions") one can see the characteristics of the patients the definition
    is selecting.

    One that stands out to me is SF-36 "Role emotional" 30.93 (SD: 39.03).

    This is a much worse score that scores for role emotional in CFS patients

    The SF-36 "Role emotional" subscale has three questions:

    (I don't think one can get underlining in plain text so I'll put **'s around
    the bits underlined on each questionnaire:

    6. During the **past 4 weeks**, have you had any of the following problems
    with your work or other regular daily activities **as a result of any
    emotional problems** (such as feeling depressed or anxious)?
    (circle one on each line)

    a. Cut down on the amount of time you spent on work or other activities
    Yes No

    b. Accomplished less than you would like deleted
    Yes No

    c. Didn't do work or other activities as carefully as usual deleted
    Yes No

    Remember that this asks about impairments "**as a result of any emotional
    problems**" (other questions ask about impairments but in other ways).

    If you answer Yes to two of these three questions, you would score 33.

    So an average of 30.93 means people with the CFS (empirical criteria) answer
    "Yes" to more than 2 out of these 3 questions on average.

    Tom Kindlon

    Don't support the Reeves/empirical definition/criteria for CFS?
    Sign the petition at:
    [This Message was Edited on 10/14/2009]
  2. Spinetti

    Spinetti New Member

    on all research done with the Empirical Definition.

    Caution: This study uses the Empirical Definition of CFS. It is about nothing in particular, and the results serve no useful purpose, except the authors'.
  3. QuayMan

    QuayMan Member

    I agree about the black box warning, Spinetti.

    Often with some of the studies, they don't even include a reference to the 2005 paper.

    The only way that one knows it used the empirical definition is if one knows that it was the Wichita 2-day cohort or the Georgia cohort.
    Most people reading papers won't know this and just think it's another CFS study.
    But as I say, this isn't clear in quite a lot of the papers.

    Also, agree that it's about nothing in particular.
    [This Message was Edited on 10/14/2009]
  4. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    LOL but sadly all too true
  5. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    it's crazy that they do not reference the definition used in some studies, but it makes sense that they dont...if they did it would become obvious that they are creating bias in those studies simply by the use of that defintion
  6. QuayMan

    QuayMan Member

    Just to be clear: the CDC say they are just "operationalizing" the Fukuda definition - that would be their justification - they're claiming it's not a new definition.

    It's just they've operationalized in a really really weird way.
  7. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    not even sure what they mean by that....operationalizing? don't think it's even a real word

    so they invented a new name for ME, invented a ridiculous definition, and now are defending that definition by inventing a new word to explain themselves.....nice
  8. Spinetti

    Spinetti New Member

    Operationalism is a scientific concept developed by Percy Bridgman. Basically, a variable is defined by the measurement method, or operation, used to determine it.

    Depression would be operationalized as a certain score range on the Hamilton Rating Scale, for example.

    Reeves claims this is what his questionnaires do with the Fukuda definition. Problem is, they don't.

    These guys are clever rascals. They use words in any way which suits their purposes.

    Thanks for all your insightful comments!

    [This Message was Edited on 10/15/2009]
  9. jasminetee

    jasminetee Member

    Spinetti, your black box idea is brilliant! :) lol
  10. Spinetti

    Spinetti New Member

    Unfortunately, Reeves and Co. seem impervious to ridicule. They are very clever and -- as AuntTammie well said previously -- evil.

    Eventually, it will catch up with them. I just hope it's soon. If QuayMan's painstaking work doesn't make a difference, I don't know what will.

    Best wishes!

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