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Cognitive behavior therapy for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): efficacy & implications

  [ 17 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Sharpe M • www.ProHealth.com • September 28, 1998


Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a form of
non-pharmacologic treatment. It is based on a model of chronic
fatigue syndrome (CFS) that hypothesizes that certain
cognitions and behavior may perpetuate symptoms and
disability--that is, act as obstacles to recovery. Treatment
emphasizes self-help and aims to help the patient to recover
by changing these unhelpful cognitions and behavior. There is
now good evidence from 2 independent randomized clinical
trials to support the efficacy of CBT in patients with CFS.

The treatment effect is substantial, although few patients are
cured. The urgent clinical need is to make this form of
treatment available to patients with CFS. One approach is to
incorporate the principles of CBT into routine clinical
practice. The preliminary evaluation of these simpler forms of
CBT are promising, although the results of controlled trials
are awaited. At present, intensive individual CBT administered
by a skilled therapist remains the treatment of choice for
patients with CFS.




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