Thursday, February 17, 2011

CFS: Better With Therapy and Exercise?

In today's New York Times, David Tuller writes about a study that shows that psychotherapy is an effective treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome. In Psychotherapy Eases Chronic Fatigue, Study Shows, Tuller writes:

The new study, conducted at clinics in Britain and financed by that country’s government, is expected to lend ammunition to those who think the disease is primarily psychological or related to stress.

The authors note that the goal of cognitive behavioral therapy, the type of psychotherapy tested in the study, is to change the psychological factors “assumed to be responsible for perpetuation of the participant’s symptoms and disability.”

In the long-awaited study, patients who were randomly assigned to receive cognitive behavioral therapy or exercise therapy, in combination with specialized medical care, reported reduced fatigue levels and greater improvement in physical functioning than those receiving the medical care alone — or getting the medical care along with training in how to recognize the onset of fatigue and to adjust their activities accordingly.

Interesting. Generally, I like to stay away from the "it's all in your head" debates. I'll let our commenters do the talking here.