Review abstract:

Chronic fatigue syndrome affects between 0.006% and 3% of the population depending on the criteria of definition used, with women being at higher risk than men.

Methods and outcomes:
We conducted a systematic overview, aiming to answer the following clinical question: What are the effects of selected treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to November 2013 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website
for the most up-to-date version of this review).

At this update, searching of electronic databases retrieved 169 studies. After deduplication and removal of conference abstracts, 86 records were screened for inclusion in the overview. Appraisal of titles and abstracts led to the exclusion of 71 studies and the
further review of 15 full publications. Of the 15 full articles evaluated, two systematic reviews, one RCT, and one further follow-up report of an RCT were added at this update. We performed a GRADE evaluation for 23 PICO combinations.

In this systematic overview, we categorised the effectiveness of four interventions based on information relating to the effectiveness and safety of antidepressants, cognitive behavioural therapy, corticosteroids, and graded exercise therapy.

Chronic fatigue syndrome, by Anthony J. Cleare, Steven Reid, Trudie Chalder, Matthew Hotopf and Simon Wessely in BMJ Clinical Evidence, September 28, 2015

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