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01-10-2012 | Uitgave 8/2012

Quality of Life Research 8/2012

Mental quality of life in chronic fatigue is associated with an accommodative coping style and neuroticism: a path analysis

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 8/2012
Carine Poppe, Geert Crombez, Ignace Hanoulle, Dirk Vogelaers, Mirko Petrovic



An accommodative coping style (e.g. acceptance) is related to a better mental health-related quality of life (MHQL) in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). We want to explore whether neuroticism is predictive for this coping style and MHQL.
Secondly we want to explore the relation between acceptance and physical health-related quality of life (PHQL) and expect that illness-related variables such as fatigue severity and duration are related to PHQL.


In this cross-sectional study, 117 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome from an outpatient internal medicine clinic completed self-report questionnaires on quality of life (SF-36), acceptance (ICQ), personality traits (NEO-FFI) and fatigue severity (CIS).


Regression analyses showed that neuroticism and acceptance are predictors of MHQL (38% of the variance was explained). The path analysis showed that acceptance mediates between neuroticism and MHQL and that PHQL is related to MHQL. PHQL is related to fatigue severity and duration, but not to neuroticism and acceptance.


Stimulating an ‘accepting accommodative coping style’ within the treatment for CFS is important in improving mental quality of life. Our results suggest that neuroticism may be negatively related to acceptance and MHQL. This findings support the idea that a psychological diagnostic workout with special attention to personality traits in relation to their coping style is recommended in order to choose the most appropriate therapeutic approach in this population.

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