Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rehabilitation therapies can lead to recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome

Date:
January 31, 2013
Source:
Queen Mary, University of London
Summary:
Recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome is possible for some patients, and new research has identified two treatments most likely to lead to recovery.

Research led by Queen Mary, University of London, has shown that recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is possible for some patients, and has identified two treatments most likely to lead to recovery.

Related Articles


The latest results from the PACE trial* show that cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and graded exercise therapy (GET), as supplements to specialist medical care, increase the likelihood of recovery from CFS three-fold compared to other treatments studied. The trial, carried out in collaboration with researchers from King's College London, the University of Oxford and the Medical Research Council (MRC), is published today in Psychological Medicine.

CFS is a long-term and debilitating condition that affects around 250,000 people in the UK. Symptoms include profound physical and mental fatigue (characteristically made worse by exertion), muscle and joint pain, disturbed sleep and both concentration and memory problems. The researchers studied 640 participants with CFS who were randomised into one of four treatment groups:

  • Specialist medical care (SMC) alone;
  • SMC plus adaptive pacing therapy (APT);
  • SMC plus cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT);
  • SMC plus graded exercise therapy (GET)

Evidence for recovery was assessed one year after participants were randomly allocated to treatments.

Previous published results showed that both CBT and GET led to greater reductions in symptoms and disability than either APT or SMC. In this analysis the researchers have gone a step further and examined how many patients had recovered from their illness after these treatments. Patients were classed as recovered if they no longer met several criteria for ill health which were initially used to define eligibility for the trial. These included not suffering from significant fatigue or physical disability, and no longer meeting diagnostic criteria for CFS. Patients also had to rate themselves as being "much" or "very much better" in their overall health.

The findings showed that those who received CBT or GET, in addition to SMC, were three times more likely to meet the criteria for recovery than those receiving SMC alone or in combination with APT. Overall 22 per cent of those who received either CBT or GET, in addition to SMC, met the criteria for recovery, compared to eight per cent after APT in addition to SMC, and seven per cent after SMC alone. There were similar patterns of recovery however CFS was defined, including those who were diagnosed as having myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), thought by some to be the same as CFS and by others as being different.

Peter White, Professor of Psychological Medicine at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, part of Queen Mary, was the lead co-principal investigator of the PACE trial and co-author of the latest paper.

Professor White said: "This is good news and shows that recovery from this debilitating condition is possible for some patients. We now need to go further to understand why only a relatively small proportion of patients recover, which shows how much this condition varies between individuals; one treatment is unlikely to work for everyone.

"Some people may question the use of the term 'recovery', and how to define when a patient is 'recovered' was a key issue we faced. We focussed on recovery from the current episode of the illness and used several measures of both symptoms and disability to give us the most complete picture possible. Further analysis is needed to see if recovery is sustained in the long-term."

Professor Michael Sharpe, University of Oxford co-principal investigator of the PACE trial and co-author of the latest paper, said: "The rehabilitative treatments of CBT and GET for CFS have been controversial. This analysis of the PACE trial data shows that not only do they achieve improvements in the majority, but that they can also lead to recovery in a substantial minority."

Professor Trudie Chalder from King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry, said: "The fact that people can recover from chronic fatigue syndrome is excellent news. Healthcare professionals can now be more confident in sharing this possibility with patients, many of whom are understandably concerned about their future."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen Mary, University of London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. D. White, K. Goldsmith, A. L. Johnson, T. Chalder, M. Sharpe. Recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome after treatments given in the PACE trial. Psychological Medicine, 2013; 1 DOI: 10.1017/S0033291713000020

Cite This Page:

Queen Mary, University of London. "Rehabilitation therapies can lead to recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130131120851.htm>.
Queen Mary, University of London. (2013, January 31). Rehabilitation therapies can lead to recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130131120851.htm
Queen Mary, University of London. "Rehabilitation therapies can lead to recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130131120851.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins