Health-related quality of life in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Group cognitive behavioral therapy and graded exercise versus usual treatment: A randomized controlled trial with 1 year of follow-up – Source: Clinical rheumatology, Jan 15, 2011

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Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) produces physical and neurocognitive disability that significantly affects health-related quality of life (HRQL). Multidisciplinary treatment combining graded exercise therapy (GET) cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and pharmacological treatment has shown only short-term improvements.

To compare the effects on HRQL of:

(1) Multidisciplinary treatment combining CBT, GET, and pharmacological treatment, and

(2) Usual treatment (exercise counseling and pharmacological treatment) at 12 months of follow-up.

Prospective, randomized controlled trial with a follow-up of 12 months after the end of treatment.

Patients consecutively diagnosed with CFS (Fukuda criteria) were randomly assigned to intervention (n?=?60) or usual treatment (n?=?60) groups.

HRQL was assessed at baseline and 12 months by the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form questionnaire (SF-36). Secondary outcomes included functional capacity for activities of daily living measured by the Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) and comorbidities.

At baseline, the two groups were similar, except for lower SF-36 emotional role scores in the intervention group.

At 12 months, the intervention did not improve HRQL scores, with worse SF-36 physical function and bodily pain scores in the intervention group.

Multidisciplinary treatment was not superior to usual treatment at 12 months in terms of HRQL.

The possible benefits of GET as part of multidisciplinary treatment for CFS should be assessed on an individual patient basis.

Source: Clinical rheumatology, Jan 15, 2011. PMID: 21234629, by  Núñez M, Fernández-Solà J, Nuñez E, Fernández-Huerta JM, Godás-Sieso T, Gomez-Gil E. Rheumatology Service, Functional Readaptation Unit, Hospital Clinic, Barcelona, Spain, [Email: mnunez@clinic.ub.es]

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2 thoughts on “Health-related quality of life in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Group cognitive behavioral therapy and graded exercise versus usual treatment: A randomized controlled trial with 1 year of follow-up – Source: Clinical rheumatology, Jan 15, 2011”

  1. Sandy10m says:

    The CDC needs to read this report and STOP giving limited research money to studies that keep looking at these useless modalities. We CFS/ME/FM sufferers know that this stuff doesn’t work. Let’s spend the research money on actual research that’s looking for the cause and the cure!

  2. franktwisk says:

    At 12 months,
    there were significantly lower SF-36
    physical function and bodily pain dimension scores
    compared to baseline
    (p=0.004 and p= 0.021, respectively).

    Patients reported
    more impairment due to pain and weakness
    in the HAQ (p=0.012 and p= 0.002, respectively).

    No changes in the global health status and
    pain intensity measured by VAS were detected.

    There was also
    a significant increase in comorbidities
    between baseline and 12 months (p<0.001) (Table 2).

    Although some studies cautiously conclude that
    exercise therapy is a promising treatment for CFS,
    the results of our study tend to support
    the somewhat controversial findings of Twisk and Maes
    that the combination of CBT and GET
    is ineffective and not evidence-based and
    may in fact be harmful in some patients,
    a view supported by various surveys
    carried out by patient advocate groups.

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