CBT best option for chronic fatigue

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and graded exercise are the most useful interventions for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

A NICE-funded systematic review of all controlled clinical trials of interventions into CFS and myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) showed these had most positive overall results.  

Immunological and antiviral treatments, while found to show some benefits, were also associated with harmful effects.  

‘Most pharmacological treatments have not shown beneficial effects,’ said the researchers.       

The study, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, trawled through 10,768 items of literature to come up with 70 papers that filled the research criteria.  

The authors acknowledged a host of difficulties in accurately comparing interventions in this controversial disease area.  

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