A randomized controlled trial of cognitive behavior therapy for multiple sclerosis fatigue.

van Kessel K, Moss-Morris R, Willoughby E, Chalder T, Johnson MH, Robinson E

The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) as a treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) fatigue. 72 patients with MS fatigue were randomly assigned to eight weekly sessions of CBT or relaxation training (RT). Participants were assessed before and after treatment, and at 3 and 6 months posttreatment. The CBT group reported significantly greater reductions in fatigue across the 8 months compared with the RT group.  Results also indicted that both groups showed clinically significant decreases in fatigue defined as fatigue levels equivalent or less than those reported by a non-fatigued healthy comparison group.

Both CBT and RT appear to be clinically effective treatments for fatigue in MS patients, although the effects for CBT are greater than those for RT. Even 6 months after treatment, both treatment groups reported levels of fatigue equivalent to those of the healthy comparison group.

Psychosomatic Medicine, 2008, 70(2), 205-13

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