Alternative Treatment for Chronic-Fatigue-Teens


Behaviour therapy is effective in treating adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a Netherlands team has found. The University Medical Centre Nijmegen carried out a study in which, of 69 new patients with CFS, half were randomly assigned to immediate cognitive behaviour therapy and the other half to the waiting list for therapy. The behaviour therapy consisted of ten sessions given for five months. After that, both groups were re-assessed.

Compared to the ‘waiting’ list, those given behaviour therapy had substantially less tiredness and loss of ability to function normally. Attendance at school was also better in this group.

CFS is generally considered to last at least six months, with fatigue accompanied by muscle pain, headache and unrefreshing sleep. Although behaviour therapy has been used in adults, it has not previously been studied in adolescents.

BMJ posted on line Dec 7 2004

First Published in December 2004

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