How psychiatric referrals influence stigmatization in patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome: An examination of American and British models


Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are controversial chronic illnesses with a myriad of debilitating symptoms. This study aimed to explore physician referrals to psychiatrists or psychologists, perceived stigma, and estrangement for patients with ME and CFS. Findings indicate that patients who have been referred to psychiatrists are likely to perceive illness stigma and feel estranged from others due to their illness.  These relationships are moderated by the country of residence, the United States and the United Kingdom. The implications of physician referrals for people with ME and CFS are discussed.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i24212113v5i2p19

Keywords: chronic fatigue syndrome; myalgic encephalomyelitis; stigma


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