Table 8Summary of study results

TreatmentNumber of patientsOutcomes investigatedAny effectOverall effectValidity score (Maximum 20)
CBT14760PH; PS; QOL++18
GET & Fluoxetine158136PH; PS; QOL+<>17
GET15766PH; PS; LAB; QOL++17
GET159, 162148PH; PS; QOL++17
CBT151270PH; PS; QOL++16
CBT15060PH; PS; QOL++15
CBT21869PH; QOL++16
CBT + DLE14990PH; PS; LAB; QOL+<>13
GET16161PS; PH: LAB++9
Rehab15347PH; QOL++9
CBT/ rehab155130PH; PS; QOL++8
CBT/ rehab15497PH; PS; QOL+<>7
CBT16365PH; PS; QOL<><>3
CBT21756PH; QOL+<>2
CBT15244PH; PS; QOL<><>1
Immunoglobulin 21671PH++16
Immunoglobulin 16530PH; LAB; QOL<><>15
Acyclovir17027PH; PS; LAB; QOL<>15
Staphylococcus toxoid17498PH++14
Immunoglobulin16449PS; QOL+<>13
Immunoglobulin16699PH; PS; LAB; QOL<><>13
Ampligen16992RU; PH; PS++12
Terfenadine17630PH; QOL<><>12
Alpha interferon16830LAB; QOL+<>11
Staphylococcus toxoid17328PS; QOL+<>9
Inosine pranobex17516PH; LAB; QOL+<>6
Moclobemide19390PH; PS; LAB; QOL<><>19
Hydrocortisone18732PH; QOL+<>18
Fludrocortisone190100PH; PS; LAB; QOL<><>18
Fludrocortisone18925PH; PS; QOL<><>16
Galantamine hydrobromide178434PH; PS<><>15
Hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone19180PH; PS; LAB; QOL<><>14
Hydrocortisone18670PH; PS; QOL<><>14
Oral NADH18326QOL++12
Fluoxetine181107PH; PS; QOL<><>12
Selegiline19425PH; PS; QOL+<>11
Phenelzine18024PH; PS; QOL<><>10
Sulbutiamine179326PH; QOL<><>10
Galanthamine hydrobromide17749PH; PS; QOL<><>9
Dexamphetamine19520PH; QOL+<>8
Growth hormone18220PH<><>5
Melatonin18530PH; PS++5
Topical nasal corticosteroids19228PH<><>3
Oral NADH18420PH<><>3
Hydrocortisone188120PH; LAB+<>2
Massage therapy19820PH; PS; LAB++9
Any homeopathic remedy19664QOL<><>6
Osteopathy19958PH; PS; QOL<><>0
Essential fatty acids*15663LAB; QOL++17
Essential fatty acids*20050PS; QOL<><>16
Magnesium20134PH; PS; LAB; QOL++15
Liver extract20215PH; PS; QOL<><>10
Acetyl-L-carnitine and propionyl-L-carnitine20990PH; PS++10
General supplements20453PH<><>10
General supplements20342PH; QOL<><>10
Pollen extract20622PH; PS; QOL; LAB<><>9
General supplements20512PH<><>6
Acclydine and amino acids20890PH; LAB+<>3
Medicinal mushrooms20770PH<><>3
Low sugar low yeast diet21457PH; PS<><>11
Buddy/ mentor21212PH; PS; QOL+<>4
Combination21152PS; QOL+<>2
Group therapy21314PH; QOL<><>1

+ indicates a positive effect of treatment; − indicates a negative effect of treatment; <> indicates no effect of treatment


Essential fatty acids (both studies) = 36mg gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), 17mg eicosapentanoic acid (EPA), 11mg docosahexanoic acid (DHA), 255mg linoleic acid (LA), plus 10 IU vitamin E.

For studies in which the duration of intervention was different from the duration of follow-up, the duration of intervention in shown in brackets

Outcome codes: RU = resource use; PH = physical; PS = psychological; LAB = laboratory and physiological; QOL = quality of life and general health.

Outcomes which showed a significant difference between intervention and control groups are highlighted in bold

Controlled studies are shaded in the table, all other studies are RCTs.

From: Appendix 1, Systematic Evidence Review to support the development of the NICE clinical guideline for CFS/ME in adults and children

Cover of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (or Encephalopathy)
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (or Encephalopathy): Diagnosis and Management of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (or Encephalopathy) in Adults and Children [Internet].
NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 53.
National Collaborating Centre for Primary Care (UK).
Copyright © 2007, Royal College of General Practitioners.

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