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Multidisciplinary Rehab Tops CBT for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Significantly more effective for reducing fatigue at 52 weeks versus cognitive behavioral therapy

MONDAY, Aug. 31, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), multidisciplinary rehabilitation treatment (MRT) is more effective for reducing fatigue than cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), according to a study published online Aug. 26 in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Desirée C.W.M. Vos-Vromans, from the Revant Rehabilitation Centre Breda in the Netherlands, and colleagues examined the difference in treatment effect between CBT and MRT at 26 and 52 weeks after the start of treatment among 122 patients with CFS. Fatigue and health-related quality of life were assessed at 26 and 52 weeks (114 and 112 participants completed assessments, respectively).

The researchers found that at 52 weeks, MRT was significantly more effective than CBT for reducing fatigue. The estimated between-group different in fatigue was −3.02 (95 percent confidence interval, −8.07 to 2.03) at 26 weeks (P = 0.24) and −5.69 (95 percent confidence interval, −10.62 to −0.76) at 52 weeks (P = 0.02). Over time there was an improvement in quality of life, but no significant between-group differences.

"This study provides evidence that MRT is more effective in reducing long-term fatigue severity than CBT in patients with CFS," the authors write. "Although implementation in comparable populations can be recommended based on clinical effectiveness, it is advisable to analyze the cost-effectiveness and replicate these findings in another multicenter trial."

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