Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Related to School Absences
Chronic fatigue syndrome may account for as much as one percent of school absences in children not otherwise explained by illness or truancy, a new study shows. According to HealthDay News, British researchers at the Center for Child and Adolescent Health at University of Bristol found that undiagnosed chronic fatigue syndrome was behind the absences of 28 out of 2,855 students.
Chronic fatigue syndrome, a mysterious condition with no known cause, is hard to recognize in children and may go undiagnosed by general practitioners. For those with a mild or moderate form of the condition, it is especially likely that doctors will fail to give a referral. Many general practitioners are even ignorant that specialist services dealing with chronic fatigue syndrome exist, HealthDay reported.
“The project suggests that undiagnosed [chronic fatigue syndrome]…may be an important and underappreciated cause of school absence in children ages 11 to 16 years,” said lead researcher Esther Crawley.
The team also found that children with chronic fatigue syndrome that were identified by a school-based clinic were more likely to receive extra care. Children identified at school had less fatigue, less disability and fewer symptoms than those identified at an ordinary health clinic, HealthDay said. And those treated from school were also more likely to recover the condition at a faster rate.