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Face-to-face cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) leads to a reduction of fatigue in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
To test the efficacy of internet-based CBT (iCBT) for adults with CFS.
A total of 240 patients with CFS were randomised to either iCBT with protocol-driven therapist feedback or with therapist feedback on demand, or a waiting list. Primary outcome was fatigue severity assessed with the Checklist Individual Strength (Netherlands Trial Register: NTR4013).
Compared with a waiting list, intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis showed a significant reduction of fatigue for both iCBT conditions (protocol-driven feedback: B = −8.3, 97.5% CI −12.7 to −3.9, P < 0.0001; feedback on demand: B = −7.2, 97.5% CI −11.3 to –3.1, P < 0.0001). No significant differences were found between both iCBT conditions on all outcome measures (P = 0.3–0.9). An exploratory analysis revealed that feedback-on-demand iCBT required less therapist time (mean 4 h 37 min) than iCBT with protocol-driven feedback (mean 6 h 9 min, P < 0.001) and also less than face-to-face CBT as reported in the literature.
Both iCBT conditions are efficacious and time efficient.
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) leads to a significant decrease in CFS-related symptoms and disability. The primary objective of this study was to explore whether partners’ solicitous responses and patients’ and partners’ perceived relationship satisfaction had an effect on treatment outcome.
The treatment outcome of a cohort of 204 consecutively referred patients treated with CBT was analysed. At baseline, CFS patients completed the Maudsley Marital Questionnaire. The Checklist Individual Strength subscale Fatigue and the Sickness Impact Profile total scores completed by CFS patients post-treatment were used as measures of clinically significant improvement. Partners completed the Family Response Questionnaire, the Maudsley Marital Questionnaire, the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire, and the Causal Attribution List. Logistic regression analyses were performed with clinically significant improvement in fatigue and disability as dependent variables and scores on questionnaires at baseline as predictors.
Solicitous responses of the partner were associated with less clinically significant improvement in fatigue and disability. Partners more often reported solicitous responses when they perceived CFS as a severe condition. Patients’ relationship dissatisfaction was negatively associated with clinically significant improvement in fatigue.
Partners’ solicitous responses and illness perceptions at the start of the therapy can negatively affect the outcome of CBT for CFS. We emphasize the importance of addressing this in therapy.
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is an effective but intensive treatment, requiring trained therapists. A minimal intervention based on CBT for CFS, guided self-instruction, was shown to be an effective treatment when delivered in a tertiary treatment centre. Implementing this intervention in a community-based mental health centre (MHC) will increase the treatment capacity for CFS patients. This study evaluated the effectiveness of guided self-instruction for CFS implemented in an MHC, delivered by nurses.
One hundred and twenty-three patients were randomly assigned to either guided self-instruction (n=62) or a waiting list (n=61). Randomization was computer generated, with allocation by numbered sealed envelopes. Group allocation was open to all those involved. Patients fulfilled US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for CFS. Primary outcome variables were fatigue severity and physical and social functioning, measured with the Checklist Individual Strength (CIS) and the Medical Outcomes Survey Short Form-36 (SF-36) respectively.
After 6 months, patients who followed guided self-instruction reported a significantly larger decrease in fatigue compared to the waiting list [mean difference –8.1, 95% confidence interval (CI) −3.8 to −12.4, controlled effect size 0.70]. There was no significant difference in physical and social functioning. However, post-hoc analyses showed a significant decrease in fatigue and physical disabilities following the intervention in a subgroup of patients with physical disabilities at baseline (SF-36 physical functioning ⩽70).
Implementation of guided self-instruction in a community-based MHC was partially successful. The minimal intervention can be effectively implemented for CFS patients with physical impairments.
Chronic fatigue is a common symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS). A randomized controlled trial (RCT) showed that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) was more effective in reducing MS fatigue than relaxation training (RT). The aim of the current study was to analyse additional data from this trial to determine whether (1) CBT compared to RT leads to significantly greater changes in cognitions and behaviours hypothesized to perpetuate MS fatigue; (2) changes in these variables mediate the effect of CBT on MS fatigue; and (3) these mediation effects are independent of changes in mood.
Seventy patients (CBT, n=35; RT, n=35) completed the Cognitive and Behavioural Responses to Symptoms Questionnaire (CBSQ), the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (B-IPQ) modified to measure negative representations of fatigue, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and the Chalder Fatigue Questionnaire (CFQ), pre- and post-therapy. Multiple mediation analysis was used to determine which variables mediated the change in fatigue.
Avoidance behaviour and three cognitive variables (symptom focusing, believing symptoms are a sign of damage and a negative representation of fatigue) improved significantly more in the CBT than the RT group. Mediation analysis showed that changing negative representations of fatigue mediated the decrease in severity of fatigue. Change in anxiety covaried with reduction in fatigue but the mediation effect for negative representations of fatigue remained when controlling for improvements in mood.
Change in beliefs about fatigue play a crucial role in CBT for MS fatigue. These beliefs and the role of anxiety deserve more attention in the further development of this intervention.
Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is known to reduce fatigue severity in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). How this change in symptomatology is accomplished is not yet understood. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether the effect of CBT on fatigue is mediated by an increase in physical activity.
Three randomized controlled trials were reanalysed, previously conducted to evaluate the efficacy of CBT for CFS. In all samples, actigraphy was used to assess the level of physical activity prior and subsequent to treatment or a control group period. The mediation hypothesis was analysed according to guidelines of Baron & Kenny [Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (1986)51, 1173–1182]. A non-parametric bootstrap approach was used to test statistical significance of the mediation effect.
Although CBT effectively reduced fatigue, it did not change the level of physical activity. Furthermore, changes in physical activity were not related to changes in fatigue. Across the samples, the mean mediation effect of physical activity averaged about 1% of the total treatment effect. This effect did not yield significance in any of the samples.
The effect of CBT on fatigue in CFS is not mediated by a persistent increase in physical activity.
In this note we consider Hermite-Fejér interpolation at the zeros of Jacobi polynomials and with additional boundary conditions. For the associated Hermite-Fejér type operators and special values of α, β it was proved by the first author in recent papers that one has uniform convergence on the whole interval [−1,1]. The second author could show by introducing the concept of asymptotic positivity how to get the known convergence results for the classical Hermite-Fejér interpolation operators. In the present paper we show, using a slightly modified Bohman-Korovkin theorem for asymptotically positive functionals, that the Hermite-Fejér type interpolation polynomials , converge pointwise to f for arbitrary α, β > −1. The convergence is uniform on [−1 + δ,1 − δ].
For the Hermite-Fejér interpolation operator of higher order constructed on the roots , 1 ≤ k ≤ m, of the Jacobi-polynomial it is shown that is positive for all m ∈ N, if (α, β) ∈ [−¾, −¼]2. Further there is given an bound, which implies for arbitrary f ∈ C(I) and (α, β) ∈ [−¾, −¼]2.
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