TGI Friday! Our weekly round-up of recently published research abstracts | 10 February 2017

From the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics (open access), 22 January 2017

Review – Systematic Review – Meta-Analysis
Dietary and nutrition interventions for the therapeutic treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis: a systematic review

N. Campagnolo, S. Johnston, A. Collatz, D. Staines, S. Marshall-Gradisnik

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) is characterised by unexplained fatigue for at least 6 months accompanied by a diverse but consistent set of symptoms. Diet modification and nutritional supplements could be used to improve patient outcomes, such fatigue and quality of life. We reviewed and discussed the evidence for nutritional interventions that may assist in alleviating symptoms of CFS/ME.

METHODS

Medline, Cinahl and Scopus were systematically searched from 1994 to May 2016. All studies on nutrition intervention were included where CFS/ME patients modified their diet or supplemented their habitual diet on patient-centred outcomes (fatigue, quality of life, physical activity and/or psychological wellbeing).

RESULTS

Seventeen studies were included that meet the inclusion criteria. Of these, 14 different interventions were investigated on study outcomes. Many studies did not show therapeutic benefit on CFS/ME. Improvements in fatigue were observed for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide hydride (NADH), probiotics, high cocoa polyphenol rich chocolate, and a combination of NADH and coenzyme Q10.

CONCLUSIONS

This review identified insufficient evidence for the use of nutritional supplements and elimination or modified diets to relieve CFS/ME symptoms. Studies were limited by the number of studies investigating the interventions, small sample sizes, study duration, variety of instruments used, and studies not reporting dietary intake method. Further research is warranted in homogeneous CFS/ME populations.


From BMC Pediatrics (open access), 1 February 2017.

Important factors to consider when treating children with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME): Perspectives of health professionals from specialist services

Roxanne M. Parslow(1,*), Alison Shaw(2), Kirstie L. Haywood (3), Esther Crawley(4)
1) Centre for Child and Adolescent Health, School of Social & Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Barley House, Oakfield Grove, Bristol, BS8 2BN, UK.
2) Centre for Primary Care Research, School of Social & Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Canynge Hall, Bristol, BS8 2PS, UK.
3) Royal College of Nursing Research Institute, School of Health and Social Studies, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK.
4) Centre for Child and Adolescent Health, School of Social & Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Barley House, Oakfield Grove, Bristol, BS8 2BN, UK.
* Corresponding author. Email: roxanne.parslow@bristol.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Paediatric Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is relatively common and disabling. Improving treatment requires the development of Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) that enable clinicians and researchers to collect patient-centred evidence on outcomes. Health professionals are well placed to provide clinical
insight into the condition, its treatment and possible outcomes.

This study aimed to understand the perspectives of specialist paediatric CFS/ME health professionals and identify outcomes that are clinically important.

METHODS

Focus groups and interviews were held with 15 health professionals involved in the care of children with CFS/ME from the four largest specialist paediatric CFS/ME services in the NHS in England. A range of clinical disciplines were included and experience in paediatric CFS/ME ranged from 2 months to 25 years. Ten participants (67%) were female.
Focus groups and interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and data were analysed using thematic analysis.

RESULTS

All health professionals identified the impact of CFS/ME across multiple aspects of health. Health professionals described four areas used to assess the severity of the illness and outcome in children: 1) symptoms; 2) physical function; 3) participation (school, activities and social life); and 4) emotional wellbeing. They also described the complexity of the condition, contextual factors and considerations for treatment to
help children to cope with the condition.

CONCLUSIONS

Clinically important outcomes in paediatric CFS/ME involve a range of aspects of health. Health professionals consider increases in physical function yet maintaining school functioning and participation more widely as important outcomes from treatment. The results are similar to those described by children in a recent study and will be combined to develop a new child-specific PROM that has strong clinical utility and patient relevance.