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A comparison of cognitive behavioral treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) & primary depression

  [ 51 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • January 3, 1994

To evaluate the effect of cognitive behavioral intervention on
chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), we studied three patient
groups: a CFS-treatment group (n = 22), a primary
depression-treatment group (n = 20), and a no-treatment
control group of subjects with CFS (n = 22). For the
CFS-treatment group, a trend toward reduced depression-symptom
scores was noted, but there were no significant changes in
stress-related symptoms or fatigue severity. For the most
depressed treated subjects with CFS, significant score
reductions were observed in measures of depression, stress,
fatigue severity, and fatigue-related thinking. In the
depression group, significant reductions in depression,
stress, and fatigue severity scores were found. No significant
changes in any measure were observed in the CFS control group.
A new fatigue-related cognitions scale, developed to assess
cognitive and emotional reactions to fatigue, showed a
significant reduction in such reactions in the CFS-treatment
group, a finding suggesting that depression in this group was
mediated by maladaptive thinking. The results suggest that a
subset of CFS patients with cognition-related depressive
symptomatology may respond to short-term behavioral

Friedberg F, Krupp LB

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