May 31, 2013
1 min read

Internet-based therapy led to long-term chronic fatigue recovery in adolescents

You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact

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.