The effectiveness of interventions used in the treatment/management of chronic fatigue syndrome and/or myalgic encephalomyelitis in adults and children

C. Wright, A.J. Sowden, A. Bagnall, P. Whiting

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


    BACKGROUND: Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) consists of a range of symptoms including fatigue, headaches, sleep disturbances, difficulties with concentration and muscle pain. The defining characteristic has been reported to be debilitating fatigue. It is not known what causes CFS although various hypotheses have been suggested, including immunological, viral, psychological and neuroendocrine factors. The uncertainty regarding the cause is reflected in the wide variety of interventions which have been used in the treatment and management of CFS. These interventions have had different objectives including targeting of the underlying disease process, targeting of specific symptoms, focusing on coping strategies, and encouraging rehabilitation. Evaluations of the effectiveness of different approaches suggest a variety of different outcomes and currently a number of interventions are used in the management of CFS. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) has sometimes been reported to be a separate syndrome from CFS. However in the research literature CFS is commonly referred to as being the same illness as ME, post viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS) and all similar symptom complexes. The scope of this review was to evaluate interventions for the management of CFS/ME. Therefore, unless specifically named symptom complexes were addressed, CFS/ME is the term used throughout this review. OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness of all available interventions which have been evaluated for use in the treatment or management of adults and children with CFS/ME.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationYork, UK
    PublisherNHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination
    Number of pages130
    ISBN (Print)1 900640 24 4
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2002

    Publication series

    NameCRD Report
    PublisherNHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination

    Bibliographical note

    © 2002 NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York. Available from the CRD web site. Updated in Centre for Reviews and Dissemination Report 35

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