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Online CBT is trialled for children with chronic fatigue syndrome

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 01 November 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5860
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. London

A UK trial launched on 1 November will seek to establish whether cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) delivered online is effective in treating chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in children.

Esther Crawley, professor of child health at the University of Bristol, hopes to recruit 734 children and adolescents over the next three years to be randomly assigned either to a programme of online CBT already shown to be effective in the Netherlands or to advice on managing activities and sleep.

The consultations will be conducted using Skype and will involve children and their parents. The children will answer questions and keep diaries and will have regular consultations with therapists, usually weekly. A full course will comprise 19 consultations, and Crawley hopes that, after allowing for loss to follow-up, she will have 330 children in each group to …

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