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Couple-Based Stress Management Intervention and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Biopsychological Processes


Milrad, Sara, “Couple-Based Stress Management Intervention and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Biopsychological Processes” (2018). Open Access Dissertations. 2049.



Sara Milrad

Quansys Products Used:

Inflammatory Cytokine Q-Plex™, Q-View™ Imager, Q-Plex™ Software


Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a debilitating illness that is characterized by heterogeneous, systemic symptoms that impact patients’ and their caregiving partners’ quality of life. Extant literature has found hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and neuroimmune biomarkers associated with the disorder, but the impact of relationship satisfaction and patients’ communication satisfaction about symptoms on these CFS-relevant biological markers and on CFS patients’ CFS symptom severity has not been examined. Like others suffering from incapacitating chronic illnesses, CFS patients are often homebound, on disability, and/or face unemployment; however, people suffering from CFS report significantly less social support and more stigma from society, as compared to other patient populations coping with the challenges of chronic and acute illnesses. CFS patients, at times, also report a lack of understanding from their surrounding support network. Because of the unique challenges associated with this commonly misunderstood illness with no definitively known cause or cure, interventions have been developed to synergistically ameliorate the mental and physical toll this disorder causes. Specifically, cognitive behavioral stress management (CBSM) has been developed to concurrently improve coping skills, stress, mood, physical symptoms, HPA and neuroimmune functioning in many patient populations, including CFS patients.

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