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Provision of social support to individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome – Source: Journal of Clinical Psychology, Mar 2010

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Abstract: The present study evaluated a buddy program designed to provide support for individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

The intervention involved weekly visits by a student paraprofessional, who helped out with tasks that needed to be done in an effort to reduce some of the taxing demands and responsibilities that participants regularly encountered.

This model of rehabilitation focused on avoiding overexertion in persons with CFS, aiming to avoid setbacks and relapses while increasing their tolerance for activity. Participants with CFS were randomly assigned to either a 4-month buddy intervention or a control condition.

Post-test results showed that individuals who received a student buddy intervention had significantly greater reductions in fatigue severity and increases in vitality than individuals in the control condition. There were no significant changes between groups for physical functioning and stress.

Buddy interventions that help patients with CFS reduce overexertion and possibly remain within their energy envelopes can be thought of as representing a different paradigm than nonpharmacologic interventions that focus only on increasing levels of activity through graded exercise.

[Financial assistance for this pilot study provided by grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.]

Source: Journal of Clinical Psychology, Mar 2010;66: 249-258, 2010. PMID: 19902489, by Jason LA, Roesner N, Porter N, Parenti B, Mortensen J, Till L. DePaul University; Michigan State University; Northwestern University. [Email: Ljason@depaul.edu]

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2 thoughts on “Provision of social support to individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome – Source: Journal of Clinical Psychology, Mar 2010”

  1. IanH says:

    This study confirms earlier interventions to regulate physical activity. It is so critical to learn how to do this. My experience has seen people with CFS going to extremes in their physical functioning. Either withdrawing from exercise or overdoing it on daily or weekly chores. For example my wife works part time as a sculptor and recently got enthused about a line of work she is doing and spent five and a half hours working (from 11am to 5:30pm minus lunch). The next day she suffered, and the day after, and the day after that, with gross fatigue, vertigo, diarrhea, more pain and myoclonic jerks. Normally I would try to remind her of the need to regulate but I was held up at an appointment. Similarly my daughter was telling me yesterday about her greater fatigue, vertigo and “buzzing”. I found out she had spend 40 minutes digging in her garden to transplant strawberries two days earlier. I think regulation of physical activity can be even harder to do than to just increase exercise. So I think all us cfs sufferers do need a buddy of sorts.

  2. Northsouth says:

    Can I hire them?! I wish I had this resource – sigh – it would help so much!

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