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BMJ. 2005 Jan 1;330(7481):14. Epub 2004 Dec 7.

Cognitive behaviour therapy for adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome: randomised controlled trial.

Author information

1
Expert Centre Chronic Fatigue, University Medical Centre Nijmegen, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB, Netherlands.

Erratum in

  • BMJ. 2005 Apr 9;330(7495):820.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the efficacy of cognitive behaviour therapy for adolescents aged 10-17 years with chronic fatigue syndrome.

DESIGN:

Randomised controlled trial.

SETTING:

Department of child psychology.

PARTICIPANTS:

71 consecutively referred patients with chronic fatigue syndrome; 36 were randomly assigned to immediate cognitive behaviour therapy and 35 to the waiting list for therapy.

INTERVENTION:

10 sessions of therapy over five months. Treatment protocols depended on the type of activity pattern (relatively active or passive). All participants were assessed again after five months.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Fatigue severity (checklist individual strength), functional impairment (SF-36 physical functioning), and school attendance.

RESULTS:

62 patients had complete data at five months (29 in the immediate therapy group and 33 on the waiting list). Patients in the therapy group reported significantly greater decrease in fatigue severity (difference in decrease on checklist individual strength was 14.5, 95% confidence interval 7.4 to 21.6) and functional impairment (difference in increase on SF-36 physical functioning was 17.3, 6.2 to 28.4) and their attendance at school increased significantly (difference in increase in percentage school attendance was 18.2, 0.8 to 35.5). They also reported a significant reduction in several accompanying symptoms. Self reported improvement was largest in the therapy group.

CONCLUSION:

Cognitive behaviour therapy is an effective treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome in adolescents.

PMID:
15585538
PMCID:
PMC539840
DOI:
10.1136/bmj.38301.587106.63
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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