Abstract: Patient education to encourage graded exercise in chronic fatigue syndrome: 2-year follow-up of randomised controlled trial

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Br J Psychiatry. 2004 Feb;184:142-6.

Powell P, Bentall RP, Nye FJ, Edwards RH.

Department of Psychology, University of Manchester, UK.

BACKGROUND: An earlier trial demonstrated good outcomes after 1 year for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) who received an educational intervention designed to encourage graded activity.

Aims: To determine 2-year outcomes for the same treated patients and the response to treatment of patients formerly in the control condition.

METHOD: Patients in the treatment groups (n=114) were followed up at 2 years; 32 patients from the control group were offered the intervention after 1 year and were assessed 1 year later. Assessments were the self-rated measures used in the original trial.

RESULTS: At 2 years 63 of the treated patients (55%) no longer fulfilled trial criteria for CFS compared with 64 patients (56%) at 1 year. Fourteen of 30 crossover patients (47%) achieved a good outcome at 1 year and seven (23%) no longer fulfilled criteria for CFS.

CONCLUSIONS: Benefits of the intervention were maintained at 2 years. Delaying treatment is associated with reduced efficacy and required more intensive therapy.

PMID: 14754826 [PubMed – in process]

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