A simple form, the ME/CFS (or CFIDS) Disability Scale, can be used patients and medical practitioners to document changes in their condition over time and monitor their response to medications. This may also serve as a key reference should one need to write a medical history or supporting letter for disability benefit claims.
In marking the score of patients on the scale, it is important to document as accurately as possible the severity of symptoms, the degree of activity impairment with both activity and rest, and the functional ability regarding full time work. The principle behind the ME/CFS Disability Scale is that the severity of symptoms is related to exertion – physical and mental. The concept that severity of symptoms is related to exertion is not necessarily well understood by all doctors, Centrelink representatives, insurance companies and employers.
A copy of the scale is available on Fact Sheet 4 ‘Learning to Pace’ here.
Adapted from Bell, D S (1994) ‘The doctors guide to chronic fatigue syndrome: Understanding, treating and living with CFIDS’, Addison-Wesley, USA. (Page 123).