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Family-focused cognitive behaviour therapy versus psycho-education for chronic fatigue syndrome in 11- to 18-year-olds: a randomized controlled treatment trial

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 November 2009

T. Chalder
Affiliation:
Department of Psychological Medicine and Psychiatry, King's College London, Weston Education Centre, London, UK
V. Deary
Affiliation:
Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK
K. Husain
Affiliation:
Psychology Department, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, UK
R. Walwyn
Affiliation:
Mental Health and Neuroscience Clinical Trials Unit, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Background

Only one previous randomized controlled trial (RCT) has examined the efficacy of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in children. The aim of this study was to compare family-focused CBT with psycho-education for CFS in adolescents.

Method

Sixty-three 11- to 18-year-olds (43 girls, 20 boys) with CFS were randomly assigned to either family-focused CBT or psycho-education delivered over 6 months. School attendance was the main outcome, which was assessed at the end of treatment and at 3, 6 and 12 months follow-up.

Results

At the main outcome point (the 6-month follow-up) both groups had improved similarly. However, although those who received family-focused CBT were attending school for longer than those who received psycho-education, at discharge from treatment and at 3 months follow-up, they improved less quickly across the follow-up period.

Conclusions

Adolescents with CFS get back to school more quickly after family-focused CBT. This is important as they are at a crucial stage of their development. However, the finding that psycho-education was as effective as family-focused CBT at 6 and 12 months follow-up has important implications for health service delivery.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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Family-focused cognitive behaviour therapy versus psycho-education for chronic fatigue syndrome in 11- to 18-year-olds: a randomized controlled treatment trial
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