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Review: CBT reduces fatigue in adults with chronic fatigue syndrome but effects at follow-up unclear

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QUESTION

Question:

How effective is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in adults?

Outcomes:

Fatigue severity (measured on the Chalder Fatigue Scale or any other validated fatigue scale); clinical response (as defined by trial authors based on diagnostic interview or specified cut-off on validated scales).

METHODS

Design:

Systematic review with meta-analysis.

Data sources:

The Cochrane Collaboration Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Controlled Trials Registers (CCDANCTR), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and the Index to Theses of Great Britain and Ireland were initially searched in 2006, and the search of CCDANCTR updated in March 2008. Ongoing trials were identified by searching clinical trial websites in January 2007. Further studies were identified by hand searching reference lists of relevant articles and by contacting experts in the field.

Study selection and analysis:

Two reviewers assessed the studies; differences were resolved by a third reviewer. For inclusion, the study had to be an RCT comparing CBT (alone or with other interventions) versus usual care or other intervention; to include at least 90% of participants who met specified diagnostic criteria for CFS; and include only adults (aged 17 years and above) (see online notes for further details).

MAIN RESULTS

Included studies: 15 …

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