Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Internet-based CBT improves fatigue severity, physical function and school attendance in adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


Question: Is the ‘Fatigue In Teenagers on the interNET’ (FITNET) internet-based cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) intervention more effective than usual care for adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)?

Patients: 135 adolescents aged 12–18 years with CFS (diagnosed by a paediatrician, and meeting US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CFS criteria). Exclusion criteria: primary depression, anxiety disorder and suicidal risk.

Setting: One tertiary treatment centre, The Netherlands; from January 2008 to February 2010.

Intervention: Internet-based CBT intervention (FITNET) compared with usual care. The intervention consisted of a psychoeducational section and a CBT section. The CBT section comprised 21 interactive modules and took an average of 26.2 weeks to complete. FITNET participants received support from trained cognitive behaviour psychotherapists through e-consults on a weekly or fortnightly basis, and were able to send emails at any stage during the intervention. Parents of participating adolescents took part in a separate but similar less-detailed internet-based programme. Usual care involved individual or group-based rehabilitation programmes, face-to-face CBT or graded exercise treatment or both. Adolescents who …

View Full Text


  • Sources of funding The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research Development.


  • Competing interests None.