Internet-based therapy led to long-term chronic fatigue recovery in adolescents
Adolescent chronic fatigue treated with Internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy effectiveness was maintained at long-term follow-up, according to recent study results published in Pediatrics.
“Compared with usual care, Internet-based [cognitive-behavioral therapy] treatment of adolescents led to earlier recovery from [chronic fatigue syndrome],” researchers wrote. “This shortened recovery period is crucial during adolescence, when school attendance and social contacts are crucial for social and academic development.”
Sanne L. Nijhof
The long-term follow-up study was of participants from the Fatigue in Teenagers on the Internet (FITNET) trial. Researchers completed data from 88.2% of participants from FITNET. They examined fatigue severity, physical functioning and school/work attendance.
Researchers found, after a mean follow-up of 2.7 years, 58.9% of adolescents recovered from chronic fatigue syndrome. According to researchers, most of the participants who recovered after FITNET were still recovered at follow-up.
Researchers also found that for each additional month of “pretreatment disease duration,” there was a 4% lower odd for recovery (OR=0.96; 95% CI, 0.93-0.99) and 11% lower odds for recovered for “focus on bodily symptoms” of the mother (OR=0.89; 95% CI, 0.80-0.99).
“The treatment effects of Internet-based [cognitive-behavioral therapy] persist at long-term follow-up,” researchers wrote. “A challenge remains to offer Internet-based [cognitive-behavioral therapy] in those cases that are most likely to benefit from it and to recognize situations that might require more intense forms of therapy.”
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.