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Two treatments most likely to lead to recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) have been identified by UK researchers.

Treatments for chronic fatigue achieve improvements in the majority

The PACE trial, a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of 640 patients, compared the effects of four different treatments for CFS. The study found that supplementing specialist medical care with cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) or graded exercise therapy (GET) increased participants' chances of recovery threefold compared to specialist medical care (SMC) alone or supplemented by adaptive pacing therapy (APT).

Professor Michael Sharpe, University of Oxford co-principal investigator of the PACE trial and co-author of the latest paper, said: 'The rehabilitative treatments of CBT and GET for CFS have been controversial. This analysis of the PACE trial data shows that not only do they achieve improvements in the majority, but they can also lead to effective recovery in a substantial minority.'

The trial, conducted collaboratively by researchers from the University of Oxford, King's College London, Queen Mary University of London and the Medical Research Council (MRC), is published today in Psychological Medicine.

Source: Queen Mary, University of London