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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 47 (2005) 6, 359 - 367


Chronic fatigue syndrome and causal attributions by doctors

J. Vandenbergen, S. Vanheule

On the basis of an extensive search of the literature relating to chronic fatigue syndrome (cfs) we were able to distinguish four types of explanatory models: biomedical, psychosocial, psychoanalytic and health-psychological. Because there is as yet no single definitive causal theory for cfs, doctors and patients currently use these four models to characterise the root causes of cfs. Starting form a theory of knowledge and a theory on individuals' explanations for being ill, we investigate how doctors and patients choose a particular model and we indicate to what extent the physician-patient relations can influence this choice.


keywords attribution, causality, chronic fatigue syndrome, models, physician-patient relations