Background. The objective of this study was to examine factors that predicted outcome in a chronically fatigued group of patients who were randomized to cognitive behaviour therapy or counselling in primary care.
Method. Illness perceptions, attributions, fatigue, disability and demographic variables were recorded at assessment and levels of fatigue and disability were measured at 6 months post randomization. Logistic regression was used to examine associations.
Results. Factors that predicted a poor outcome (four or more on the fatigue questionnaire) were: poor social adjustment at assessment; the patients self-report that they had never seen the GP for an emotional reason; a physical illness attribution; and, a long perceived future illness duration.
Conclusions. Patients who are more psychologically minded are more likely to improve with psychological treatments in primary care. General practitioners need to assess this before referring to an appropriate therapist.
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