A Special Issue from the Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community
Routledge Journals is pleased to announce a new Special Issue from the Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community exploring topics and constructs that could help clarify uncertainties surrounding Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) research. FREE ACCESS is available to Operationalizing Criteria for ME, ME/CFS and CFS Case Definitions through to April 30, 2015.
Despite all the efforts to create a working case definition to characterize and diagnose CFS, ME, or ME/CFS, many problems arise when trying to operationalize these criteria. Criterion variance, which classifies patients' symptoms into diagnostic categories, leads to the largest source of diagnostic unreliability. This typically occurs when an operationally explicit set of criteria for diagnostic categories does not exist. Recently, the newest case definition for ME was introduced by the Myalgic Encephalomyelitis International Consensus Panel (ME-ICC). Because of a lack of consensus and different sets of case definitions, researchers have repeatedly debated whether these criteria all describe the same illness, subsets of the illness, or entirely different entities.
"With federal attention on this illness," says Guest Editor, Leonard A. Jason, "the articles in this themed issue address some of the methodological considerations that need to be considered with the development of case definitions." These considerations are important because vastly different samples may be selected if different case definitions are being utilized in clinics or in research, causing difficulties in estimating the exact prevalence of CFS, ME/CFS, or ME and preventing findings from replication across different research groups. Most importantly, if researchers use different and ambiguous case definitions, the problems with reliability will create barriers for consistently identifying biomarkers or determining useful treatments to aid these patient groups. Issues of diagnostics for a chronic health condition have important policy implications, and as such, Routledge is proud to offer free access to this special issue of a journal that emphasizes how basic research can be used for the public good.