Research News

Tackling fear about exercise produces long term benefit in chronic fatigue syndrome

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h5771 (Published 28 October 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5771
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

Two treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome that tackle patients’ fears about exercise and that had already been shown to improve fatigue and physical function after a year continue to offer long term benefits in terms of fatigue reduction, a follow-up study of patients involved in the PACE trial has shown.

However, the follow-up findings were complicated by the fact that some of the patients who were randomly assigned to specific treatments in the PACE trial went on to undergo additional treatments.

In 2011 the PACE trial found that patients randomised to receive cognitive behavioural therapy or graded exercise therapy in addition to specialist medical care showed less fatigue and improved physical functioning after one year when compared with patients who were randomised to receive adaptive pacing therapy or specialist medical care alone.1 In graded exercise therapy the patient undertakes a personalised and gradually increasing exercise programme delivered by a physiotherapist, whereas in adaptive pacing therapy the patient adapts …

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