Rehabilitation Therapies for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
CFS is a debilitating and long-term condition that involves symptoms of extreme mental and physical fatigue, disturbed sleep, joint and muscle pain, forgetfulness and concentration problem. Researchers have identified two treatments that can potentially lead to recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) for some patients. Recent results from the PACE trial have shown that CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) and GET (graded exercise therapy) are the two supplementary therapies that may help increase the possibility of recovery from CFS three times more versus other treatments.
The study, conducted by researchers from King’s College London, University of Oxford and the Medical Research Council (MRC), and co-authors Peter White and Michael Sharpe, both professors, was published recently in Physiological Medicine.
The research involved 640 participants with CFS who were randomly assigned to undergo one of the four treatment groups and were assessed after a year. The treatments included: Specialist medical care (SMC) only, SMC plus adaptive pacing therapy (APT), SMC plus CBT, or SMC plus GET.
The investigators made further examinations (based on prior publications on the benefits of CBT and GET) on the number of patients that recovered from CFS after the treatment. Findings revealed that a total of 22% of those who received SMC plus CBT and SMC plus GET treatments met the criteria for recovery versus 8% and 7% after SMC plus APT and SMC alone, respectively.
According to White, further analysis is needed to understand why only a small percentage of patients recovered from CFS after the treatment and to check as well sustainability of the recovery. Although the treatments CBT and GET have been controversial, analysis of the data showed improvements in the majority and can likewise lead to recovery in substantial minority, added by Sharpe.
Queen Mary, University of London. Rehabilitation therapies can lead to recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome. ScienceDaily.