Evaluating neuropsychological impairment in chronic fatigue syndrome.
ABSTRACT This study was designed to provide an estimate of the prevalence of neuropsychological impairment in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), to evaluate the concordance between impairment found on standardized tests and self-reported neuropsychological problems, and to study the relationship between neuropsychological functioning and fatigue severity and psychological processes. We adopted an individual approach to determine neuropsychological impairment as contrasted with the group-comparisons approach used in previous studies. Also, correction for premorbid functioning and confounders was done on an individual basis. The results show that a minority of participants were impaired in neuropsychological functioning. There was no relationship between neuropsychological impairment on standardized tests and self-reported memory and concentration problems. Neuropsychological functioning was not related to fatigue or depression. Slowed speed of information processing and motor speed were related to low levels of physical activity.
Article: Cognitive behaviour therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome: a multicentre randomised controlled trial.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) seems a promising treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), but the applicability of this treatment outside specialised settings has been questioned. We compared CBT with guided support groups and the natural course in a randomised trial at three centres. Of 476 patients diagnosed with CFS, 278 were eligible and willing to take part. 93 were randomly assigned CBT (administered by 13 therapists recently trained in this technique for CFS), 94 were assigned the support-group approach, and 91 the control natural course. Multidimensional assessments were done at baseline, 8 months, and 14 months. The primary outcome variables were fatigue severity (on the checklist individual strength) and functional impairment (on the sickness impact profile) at 8 and 14 months. Data were analysed by intention to treat. 241 patients had complete data (83 CBT, 80 support groups, 78 natural course) at 8 months. At 14 months CBT was significantly more effective than both control conditions for fatigue severity (CBT vs support groups 5.8 [2.2-9.4]; CBT vs natural course 5.6 [2.1-9.0]) and for functional impairment (CBT vs support groups 263 [38-488]; CBT vs natural course 222 [3-441]). Support groups were not more effective for CFS patients than the natural course. Among the CBT group, clinically significant improvement was seen in fatigue severity for 20 of 58 (35%), in Karnofsky performance status for 28 of 57 (49%), and self-rated improvement for 29 of 58 (50%). Prognostic factors for outcome after CBT were a higher sense of control predicting more improvement, and a passive activity pattern and focusing on bodily symptoms predicting less improvement. CBT was more effective than guided support groups and the natural course in a multicentre trial with many therapists. Our study showed a lower proportion of patients with improvement than CBT trials with a few highly skilled therapists.The Lancet 04/2001; 357(9259):841-7. · 38.28 Impact Factor
Article: Neuropsychological performance in persons with chronic fatigue syndrome: results from a population-based study.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To examine the neuropsychological function characterized in subjects with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) at the same time controlling for relevant confounding factors. CFS is associated with symptoms of neuropsychological dysfunction. Objective measures of neuropsychological performance have yielded inconsistent results possibly due to sample selection bias, diagnostic heterogeneity, comorbid psychiatric disorders, and medication usage. CFS subjects (n = 58) and well controls (n = 104) from a population-based sample were evaluated, using standardized symptom severity criteria. Subjects who had major psychiatric disorders or took medications known to influence cognition were excluded. Neuropsychological function was measured using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB). Compared with controls, CFS subjects exhibited significant decreases in motor speed as measured in the simple and five-choice movement segments of the CANTAB reaction time task. CFS subjects also exhibited alterations in working memory as manifested by a less efficient search strategy on the spatial working memory task, fewer % correct responses on the spatial recognition task, and prolonged latency to a correct response on the pattern recognition task. A significantly higher percentage of CFS subjects versus controls exhibited evidence of neuropsychological impairment (defined by performance 1 standard deviation below the CANTAB normative mean) in tasks of motor speed and spatial working memory. Impairment in CFS subjects versus control subjects ranged from 20% versus 4.8% in five-choice movement time (p = .002) to 27.8% versus 10.6% in search strategy on the spatial working memory task (p = .006). These results confirm and quantify alterations in motor speed and working memory in CFS subjects independent of comorbid psychiatric disease and medication usage.Psychosomatic Medicine 08/2008; 70(7):829-36. · 3.97 Impact Factor
Article: Cognitive behaviour group therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome: a non-randomised waiting list controlled study.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: It has been demonstrated that individual cognitive behaviour therapy is an effective treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The aim of the present study was to investigate the effectiveness of cognitive behaviour group therapy (CBGT) in an unselected group of CFS patients. Additionally, pretreatment characteristics of CFS patients who improve after CBGT were explored. In a non-randomised waiting list controlled design, 31 patients were allocated to CBGT and 36 to the waiting list condition. CBGT consisted of 12 two-hour sessions during 6 months. Main outcome measures were fatigue (Checklist Individual Strength) and functional impairment (Sickness Impact Profile). A moderate effect on fatigue in favour of CBGT was found. For functional impairment, the effect was opposite to what was expected. Patients who improved after CBGT had less complaints at baseline compared to patients who did not improve. An explanation for the moderate effect might be that during CBGT, rest and relaxation were too much emphasised. Furthermore, an unselected group of CFS patients and therapists inexperienced in CB(G)T for CFS participated. Suggestions to improve CBGT for future research are given.Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 02/2005; 74(4):218-24. · 6.28 Impact Factor