Abstract: Cognitive behaviour group therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome: a non-randomised waiting list controlled study

Psychother Psychosom. 2005;74(4):218-24.

Bazelmans E, Prins JB, Lulofs R, van der Meer JW, Bleijenberg G.

Department of Medical Psychology, University Medical Centre Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Background: It has been demonstrated that individual cognitive behaviour therapy is an effective treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The aim of the present study was to investigate the effectiveness of cognitive behaviour group therapy (CBGT) in an unselected group of CFS patients. Additionally, pretreatment characteristics of CFS patients who improve after CBGT were explored.

Methods: In a non-randomised waiting list controlled design, 31 patients were allocated to CBGT and 36 to the waiting list condition.

CBGT consisted of 12 two-hour sessions during 6 months. Main outcome measures were fatigue (Checklist Individual Strength) and functional impairment (Sickness Impact Profile).

Results: A moderate effect on fatigue in favour of CBGT was found. For functional impairment, the effect was opposite to what was expected. Patients who improved after CBGT had less complaints at baseline compared to patients who did not improve.

Conclusions: An explanation for the moderate effect might be that during CBGT, rest and relaxation were too much emphasised.

Furthermore, an unselected group of CFS patients and therapists inexperienced in CB(G)T for CFS participated. Suggestions to improve CBGT for future research are given. Copyright (c) 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.

PMID: 15947511 [PubMed – in process]

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