Pheby D and Saffron L. Biology and Medicine (2009); 1 (4): 50 – 74
This very comprehensive questionnaire based research study was carried out by Dr Derek Pheby and colleagues at the Unit of Applied Epidemiology, University of the West of England.
The research was funded by The ME Association’s Ramsay Research Fund.
The conclusions were obtained using information from questionnaires that were given to 124 people with severe ME and 619 people with less severe ME, who acted as the controls. The questionnaires were completed by members of The ME Association, the 25% Group, CHROME, and by people attending the National ME Centre in Essex and the Wiltshire ME service.
A key conclusion to the study is that the standard of early management appears to be the most important determinant of severity. Having a mother with ME was an additional risk factor – a finding that is consistent with an illness causing mitochondrial dysfunction.
Of particular importance is the fact that no evidence was found to indicate that conscientiousness, neurotic traits or personality traits are risk factors in the development of severe ME.
The full paper has been published by Biology and Medicine on-line here
More information on the work of the Ramsay Research Fund can be found here.