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OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to examine the accuracy of doctors at diagnosing co-morbid psychiatric disorders in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). DESIGN: Case series comparing clinical diagnoses with a standardized structured psychiatric interview. SETTING: Secondary care specialist chronic fatigue syndrome clinic. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred and thirty-five participants of a randomized controlled trial of non-pharmacological treatments at one centre in the PACE trial. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Current psychiatric diagnoses made by CFS specialist doctors, compared with current psychiatric diagnoses made independently using a structured psychiatric interview. RESULTS: Clinicians identified 59 (44%, 95% CI 39-56%) of patients as suffering from a co-morbid psychiatric disorder compared to 76 (56%, CI 53-69%) by structured interview. Depressive and anxiety disorders were most common. Clinicians were twice as likely to miss diagnoses (30 patients, 22%) than misdiagnose them (13, 10%). Psychiatrists were less likely to miss diagnoses than other clinicians, but were as likely to misdiagnose them. CONCLUSIONS: Doctors assessing patients in a chronic fatigue syndrome clinic miss psychiatric diagnoses more often than misdiagnosing them. Missed diagnoses are common. CFS clinic doctors should be trained to diagnose psychiatric disorders

Type

Journal article

Journal

JRSM.Short Rep.

Publication Date

2010

Volume

1

Keywords

anxiety, Anxiety Disorders, care, case, case series, CFS, CLINICAL, comorbid, controlled, doctors, fatigue, hospital, interview, London, measure, measures, outcome, pace, patient, Patients, psychiatric, psychiatric disorder, randomized, secondary, syndrome, treatment, trial, Trust, uk