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Br J Psychiatry. 2008 Oct;193(4):340-1. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.108.051292.

Guided self-instructions for people with chronic fatigue syndrome: randomised controlled trial.

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  • 1Expert Centre Chronic Fatigue, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


A minimal intervention, based on cognitive-behavioural therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome and consisting of self-instructions combined with email contact, was tested in a randomised controlled trial (ISRCTN27293439). A total of 171 patients participated in the trial: 85 were allocated to the intervention condition and 86 to the waiting-list condition. All patients met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome. An intention-to-treat analysis showed a significant decrease in fatigue and disability after self-instruction. The level of disability was negatively correlated with treatment outcome. Guided self-instructions are an effective treatment for patients with relatively less severe chronic fatigue syndrome.

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