Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) is estimated to affect 2 to 5 million people in the United States. Despite its high incidence, persons with CFIDS have been neglected by the medical community mainly because there is no singular confirming diagnostic test or proven effective treatment.
The CFIDS population is incorrectly stereotyped as upper-middle-class, white, female hypochondriacs: consequently, symptoms often are belittled or ignored. In reality, CFIDS is a severe medical condition that affects women, men, and children of any race and often causes long-term or total disability.
The results of a modified functional capacity evaluation developed by the author and completed on 86 persons with CFIDS between 1988 and 1990 confirm that this population has severe physical and cognitive disabilities that affect their professional, familial, and social lives. The results of these evaluations are used to present a profile of persons with CFIDS that can serve as a basis for understanding this population and for guiding intervention.