Chronic Fatigue Syndrome---New Data on Long-Range Outcomes, Nonpharmacological Treatment, and Self-Management Intervention

CE Credit: 1

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Length: 50 minutes

***No slides made available by presenters***

Session offered by Division 38.

To provide firm evidence for the severity and duration of CFS, L. Jason will present a study focused on 10-year follow-up assessments of a randomly sampled, community-based, multi-ethnic population of patients with CFS and idiopathic chronic fatigue (ICF). The rates of CFS remained approximately the same over the 10-year period, although a high level of mortality was found (18% of those with medical or psychiatric exclusions group and 12.5% for the CFS group). Of the 8 new cases of CFS over the time period, 6 (75%) came from the ICF group, suggesting that this group is at higher risk of developing CFS. In addition, 50% of the remitters went from a CFS diagnosis to the ICF group, indicating that half were still suffering from severe chronic fatigue.

In our second presentation, G. Nojku’s study reports on treatment satisfaction of individuals with CFS who received non-pharmacological, i.e., behavioral, interventions. The relationship between their treatment satisfaction ratings and various health outcomes was examined. Among those who completed the ratings, more participants were satisfied with the treatment they received. Perceived stress, pain interpretation, bodily pain, social functioning and total number of sessions attended predicted satisfaction. The findings of this study suggest that a notable proportion of individuals with CFS approve of and are satisfied with behavioral interventions especially when presented as adjuncts to medical treatment.

In our third talk, F. Friedberg will present the preliminary results of a randomized clinical trial in patients with CFS or unexplained chronic fatigue as conducted in a primary care setting. Cognitive-behavioral self-management was significantly more effective in lessening fatigue impact in comparison to (a) standard medical care alone and (b) an attention control symptom monitoring condition. The findings suggest that these medically underserved patients are responsive to a very brief behavioral intervention.

Learning Objective 1
State how a brief self-management intervention for chronic fatigue can be successfully implemented in a primary care setting.

Learning Objective 2
Comprehend how stress influences the course of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Learning Objective 3
Differentiate what types of behavioral interventions are preferred by patients.

Presenters: Leonard A. Jason, PhD; Mary Gloria C. Njoku, PhD; Fred Friedberg, PhD