Non-pharmacologic Interventions for CFS: A Randomized Trial

  • Leonard A. JasonEmail author
  • Susan Torres-Harding
  • Fred Friedberg
  • Katrina Corradi
  • Mary Gloria Njoku
  • Julie Donalek
  • Nadia Reynolds
  • Molly Brown
  • Bing Bing Weitner
  • Alfred Rademaker
  • Morris Papernik


Non-pharmacological behavioral treatments for CFS have been suggested as promising. These trials have tested protocols composed of behavioral, cognitive and cognitive–behavioral interventions but there have been few efforts to differentially evaluate their outcomes. The primary purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effectiveness of nurse delivered non-pharmacologic interventions. In the present study, 114 participants diagnosed with CFS were randomly assigned to four 6-month interventions. The interventions were: cognitive–behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, anaerobic activity, and a relaxation control group. The study found that these interventions led to increases in several areas of functioning, with more consistent changes occurring among those participants in the cognitive condition. For the 25 variables in this study, significant change occurred for 28%, 20%, 16%, and 12% of the variables for the cognitive, cognitive behavior therapy, anaerobic activity, and relaxation conditions, respectively. However, the majority of participants continued to be diagnosed with CFS following the treatment trial. Implications of these findings are discussed.


CFS ME Non-pharmacologic Treatment Trial Cognitive–behavior therapy 



The authors appreciate the funding provided by NIAID (Grant No. AI 49720). We also particularly appreciate the help of Staci Stevens and Vincent Deary for their consultation help.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonard A. Jason
    • 1
    Email author
  • Susan Torres-Harding
    • 2
  • Fred Friedberg
    • 3
  • Katrina Corradi
    • 1
  • Mary Gloria Njoku
    • 1
  • Julie Donalek
    • 1
  • Nadia Reynolds
    • 1
  • Molly Brown
    • 1
  • Bing Bing Weitner
    • 4
  • Alfred Rademaker
    • 4
  • Morris Papernik
    • 5
  1. 1.Center for Community ResearchDePaul UniversityChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Roosevelt UniversityChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Stony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA
  4. 4.Northwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  5. 5.Rush University Medical CenterChicagoUSA

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