Evid Based Nurs 5:46 doi:10.1136/ebn.5.2.46
  • Treatment

Review: behavioural interventions show the most promise for chronic fatigue syndrome

RCTs of interventions for chronic fatigue syndrome*

Interventions Number of RCTs Number of patients Overall effect: number of studies showing improvement or no difference
*RCTs = randomised controlled trials; GET = graded exercise therapy; CBT = cognitive behavioural therapy. Intervention duration ranged from 2 weeks to 1 year (mean 16 wks); follow up ranged from 2 weeks to 5 years.
Behavioural 8 883 6 improvement; 2 no difference
    GET 3 350 3 improvement
    CBT 5 533 3 improvement; 2 no difference
Immunological 9 440 4 improvement; 5 no difference
Pharmacological 12 896 2 improvement; 10 no difference
Supplements 5 174 2 improvement; 3 no difference
Complementary or alternative 2 84 1 improvement; 1 no difference

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