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The title of the paper and the majority of the introduction imply that the study is about adolescents with CFS/ME. However, the final sentence of the introduction undermines that objective: “As children in our study were not examined by a physician, we have used the term ‘chronic disabling fatigue’ (CDF) rather than CFS/ME to indicate chronic fatigue that is disabling.”
Those children may have had a variety of different diseases that cause prolonged fatigue, yet we are led to believe that a study of their collective conditions can somehow add to the body of literature on a specific disease process. CFS/ME is a highly contentious disease with a great deal of conflicting evidence and hypotheses; answers as to its exact nature and cause are as yet to be determined. By publishing a study of patients who are so poorly defined as to be undefined, Archives of Disease in Childhood has further muddied already murky waters. The addition of this study to the body of literature is not only unhelpful, but is actively detrimental to the pursuit of answers for patients with this highly disabling disease.
How are ADC or the authors able to justify publishing a study that to all appearances is about CFS/ME, yet fails to properly assess if any of the study participants actually have CFS/ME?