Research abstract:

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of a group-based self-management program for people with chronic fatigue syndrome.

DESIGN: A randomized controlled trial.

SETTING: Four mid-sized towns in southern Norway and two suburbs of Oslo.

SUBJECTS: A total of 137 adults with chronic fatigue syndrome.

INTERVENTION: A self-management program including eight biweekly meetings of 2.5 hours duration. The control group received usual care.

MAIN MEASURES: Primary outcome measure: Medical Outcomes Study-Short
Form-36 physical functioning subscale.

SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Fatigue severity scale, self-efficacy scale, physical and mental component summary of the Short Form-36, and the illness cognition questionnaire (acceptance subscale). Assessments were performed at baseline, and at six-month and one-year follow-ups.

RESULTS: At the six-month follow-up, a significant difference between the two groups was found concerning fatigue severity (p = 0.039) in favor of the control group, and concerning self-efficacy in favor of the intervention group (p = 0.039). These significant differences were not sustained at the one-year follow-up. No significant differences were found between the groups concerning physical functioning, acceptance, and health status at any of the measure points. The drop-out rate was 13.9% and the median number of sessions attended was seven (out of eight).

CONCLUSIONS: The evaluated self-management program did not have any sustained effect, as compared with receiving usual care.

Effectiveness of a group-based self-management program for people with chronic fatigue syndrome: A randomized controlled trial, by Pinxsterhuis I, Sandvik L, Strand EB, Bautz-Holter E, Sveen U in Clin Rehabil. 2015 Dec 16. pii: 0269215515621362. [Epub ahead of print]

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