Research review abstract

This thesis is concerned with the experience of engaging in Cognitive  Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Myalgic  Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) and is comprised of a literature review and  an empirical study.

The literature review is a systematic and critical overview of the effectiveness of CBT in the management and treatment
of adult CFS/ME. Controlled and uncontrolled studies on individual  cognitive behavioural therapy (ICBT), group cognitive behavioural  therapy (GCBT) and studies that compared the effects of CBT with other  interventions were selected for review.

Results demonstrated that CBT can be an effective intervention for CFS/ME, even when it is adapted  to lower intensity modes of delivery. However, the review identified a  need for further research to investigate potential factors mediating  treatment outcome in CBT and provide a qualitative understanding of  the experience of treatment.

The empirical study is an interpretive phenomenological analysis of the experience of engaging with CBT for
CFS/ME from the perspective of patients. Participants (N=8) were  adults with a CDC diagnosis, recruited from a specialist CFS/ME  service who had completed 8-12 sessions of CBT for CFS/ME.  Semi-structured interviews were conducted and data was analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.

Emerging themes reflected participants’ expectations of, and motivations for CBT, and their experiences of therapy in helping them to manage symptoms and adjust to living with CFS/ME. Parallels were drawn between findings and
theoretical CBT-CFS models and implications for clinical practice and future research directions are discussed.

A systematic review of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for the management and treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for CFS/ME: An interpretative phenomenological analysis, by Laura Turner. Masters’ thesis, University of Sheffield, September 23, 2014

– Psychology, Faculty of Science, University of Sheffield
Keywords: CFS/ME CBT Systematic review IPA

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