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The Effect of Mindfulness Training on Mood and Measures of Fatigue, Activity, and Quality of Life in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome on a Hospital Waiting List: A Series of Exploratory Studies

  • Christina Surawy (a1), Jill Roberts (a1) and Amy Silver (a1)

Three exploratory studies evaluated group mindfulness training (which aims to facilitate non-judgmental attention to present moment experience through the practice of meditation) in patients waiting for cognitive behaviour therapy for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). The approaches used were based on Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy. The first group showed that such training is acceptable to patients and that it results in significantly improved subjective measures of anxiety, and improvements in subjective levels of fatigue that approached significance, when compared to waiting list controls. A second uncontrolled study replicated the findings of the first study and also demonstrated an improvement in quality of life as measured by the Fatigue Impact Scale (FIS). More wide-ranging effects were demonstrated in the final study in which significant improvements in subjective levels of fatigue, anxiety, depression, quality of life and physical functioning were observed following the training programme. These effects were sustained for 3 months. Overall, the findings of the three exploratory studies indicate that MBSR/MBCT has potential for the treatment of patients with CFS.

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Reprint requests to Christina Surawy, Department of Psychological Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headley Way, Headington, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK. E-mail:
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Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
  • ISSN: 1352-4658
  • EISSN: 1469-1833
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioural-and-cognitive-psychotherapy
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