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Cognitive behavior therapy versus relaxation therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome.

15 Aug

Long-term outcome of cognitive behavior therapy versus relaxation therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome: a 5-year follow-up study.

Sixty patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome from 3 different London hospitals were randomly assigned to either cognitive behavior therapy or a relaxation therapy. Five years later, 53 of them completed questionnaires and interviews measuring their improvement in symptoms. A total of 68% of the patients who received behavior therapy, and 36% who received relaxation therapy rated themselves as much improved at the 5 year follow-up. In addition, significantly more CBT patients met the criteria for complete recovery, freedom from relapse, and steadily improved symptoms, as compared to the relaxation therapy group. The study concludes that cognitive behavior therapy can produce lasting benefits for CFS, but is not a cure.

Citation: Deale, Husain, Chalder & Wessely. Long-term outcome of cognitive behavior therapy versus relaxation therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome: a 5-year follow-up study. American Journal of Psychiatry 2001 Dec; 158 (12): pp. 2038-42.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award