Internet-Based Therapy for Adolescents With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Long-term Follow-up.
ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE:Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is known to be an effective treatment of adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), but its availability is limited. Fatigue in Teenagers on the Internet (FITNET), an Internet-based CBT program for adolescents with CFS, has been developed as an alternative to face-to-face CBT. Recently, its short-term effectiveness has been proven in a randomized clinical trial. Here we aimed to assess the long-term outcome of CFS in adolescents after FITNET treatment and after usual care. In addition, factors related to recovery at long-term follow-up (LTFU) for adolescents treated with the FITNET program were investigated.METHODS:The study was an LTFU of participants of the FITNET trial. Data were completed for 112 (88.2%) of 127 approached FITNET study participants. Primary outcomes were fatigue severity (Checklist Individual Strength-20), physical functioning (87-item Child Health Questionnaire), and school/work attendance.RESULTS:After a mean follow-up of 2.7 years, 66 (58.9%) adolescents had recovered from CFS. Most adolescents who recovered directly after treatment with FITNET were still recovered at LTFU. At LTFU there was no difference between the recovery rates for the different treatment strategies (original randomization: FITNET [64%] versus any form of usual care [52.8%]). Per additional month of "pretreatment disease duration," the odds for recovery were 4% lower (odds ratio: 0.96; 95% confidence interval: 0.93-0.99; P = .016), and per added point on "focus on bodily symptoms" (Body Consciousness Scale) of the mother (0-20 points) the odds for recovery were 11% lower (odds ratio: 0.89; 95% confidence interval: 0.80-0.99; P = .029).CONCLUSIONS:The short-term effectiveness of Internet-based CBT on adolescent CFS is maintained at LTFU. At LTFU, usual care led to similar recovery rates, although these rates were achieved at a slower pace.
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ABSTRACT: Long-term survivors of pediatric cancer have an increased risk of post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and dysfunctional anxiety. However, there is a lack of evidence-based psychotherapy tailored to the needs of this target group. In this single-arm pilot study, an Internet-based psychological intervention ("Onco-STEP") for adolescent and young adult survivors was developed, and its efficacy in reducing PTSS and anxiety was evaluated. Former patients of pediatric cancer older than 15 years manifesting clinically relevant PTSS or anxiety were eligible. The cognitive-behavioral treatment consists of ten writing sessions and comprises two modules: the first aiming to reprocess the traumatic cancer-related experiences and the second aiming to build coping strategies with current cancer-related fears. Treatment was delivered via written messages on a secure Internet platform. Outcomes were assessed by the Post-traumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the Fear of Progression/Relapse Questionnaire. A total of 20 participants completed the intervention (mean age 27.3 ± 4.8 years at study; 13.8 ± 4.7 years since diagnosis; 70 % female). PTSS, anxiety, and fear of progression/relapse significantly declined at the end of the intervention, with pre-post effect sizes of 0.63, 0.74, and 0.48. In addition, we found a significant decrease in symptoms of depression. Except for the improvement in depression, all effects were sustained 3 months after the end of treatment. The results show that the intervention is efficacious in reducing symptoms of post-traumatic stress and anxiety. Onco-STEP is a promising new way to treat young adult long-term survivors of pediatric cancer with late psychological effects. Future efforts need to focus on investigating specific evidence of the intervention in a randomized controlled trial.Supportive Care in Cancer 03/2014; · 2.09 Impact Factor
- European Journal of Pediatrics 12/2013; · 1.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background There is accumulating evidence of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis hypofunction in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). However, knowledge of this hypofunction has so far come exclusively from research in adulthood, and its clinical significance remains unclear. The objective of the current study was to assess the role of the HPA-axis in adolescent CFS and recovery from adolescent CFS. Method Before treatment, we compared the salivary cortisol awakening response of 108 diagnosed adolescent CFS patients with that of a reference group of 38 healthy peers. Salivary cortisol awakening response was measured again after 6 months of treatment in CFS patients. Results Pre-treatment salivary cortisol levels were significantly lower in CFS-patients than in healthy controls. After treatment recovered patients had a significant rise in salivary cortisol output attaining normalization, whereas non-recovered patients improved slightly, but not significantly. The hypocortisolism found in CFS-patients was significantly correlated to the amount of sleep. Logistic regression analysis showed that an increase of one standard deviation in the difference between pre- and post-treatment salivary cortisol awakening response was associated with a 93% higher odds of recovery (adjusted OR 1.93 (1.18 to 3.17), p = 0.009). Pre-treatment salivary cortisol did not predict recovery. Conclusions Hypocortisolism is associated with adolescent CFS. It is not pre-treatment cortisol but its change to normalization that is associated with treatment success. We suggest that this finding may have clinical implications regarding the adaptation of future treatment strategies.Psychoneuroendocrinology 04/2014; 42:199–206. · 5.59 Impact Factor