Research abstract

Objective: The aim of the study was to develop a group-based self-management programme for individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) by using the participants’ experiences with the initial version of the programme, which intends to promote coping with the illness in a primary healthcare setting.


An initial programme was developed, based on self-efficacy theory and the concepts of client-centred practice and empowerment. Subsequently, the programme was tested and further developed by drawing on the participants’ experiences with the programme. Focus-group interviews were applied. The interviews were analysed using thematic analysis.


The initial programme was found to be feasible, although several modifications regarding the content and practical organization of the programme were proposed.


In line with the participants’ experiences, the final self-management programme was developed, which includes short presentations of eight topics, exchange of experiences among participants, goal-setting, construction of action plans, and relaxation exercises, in addition to a meeting for relatives. The programme will be provided in eight biweekly sessions and be led by juxtaposed peer counsellors and occupational therapists. The effects of the final programme will be evaluated in a randomized controlled trial.

Development of a group-based self-management programme for individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome: a pilot study by I Pinxsterhuis, LL Hellum, HH Aannestad, U Sveen in Scand J Occup Ther. 2015 Mar;22(2):117-25.  Epub 2015 Jan 12.


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