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Non-pharmacologic Interventions for CFS: A Randomized Trial

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgment

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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Correspondence to Leonard A. Jason.

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Jason, L.A., Torres-Harding, S., Friedberg, F. et al. Non-pharmacologic Interventions for CFS: A Randomized Trial. J Clin Psychol Med Settings 14, 275–296 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10880-007-9090-7

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Keywords

  • CFS
  • ME
  • Non-pharmacologic
  • Treatment
  • Trial
  • Cognitive–behavior therapy