Internet trial’s impressive results for chronic fatigue

The study conducted in The Netherlands involved cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychoeducation delivered online with e-consults available from psychotherapists.

The study analysed 67 patients, aged 12 to 18 years, who were assigned to the internet program, called Fatigue In Teenagers on the Internet (FITNET), compared to a control group of 64 who received ‘usual care’ including group rehabilitation, physical training and face-to-face CBT.

The teens taking part in FITNET were more likely than controls to attend school regularly (75% vs 16%), to see their severe fatigue evaporate (85% vs 27%) and to have normal physical functioning (78% vs 20%).

Internet-based treatment appealed to modern youth and avoided barriers to participation such as poor accessibility, keeping appointments and travel, the researchers said.

An editorial noted the size of treatment effect was “impressive” and may be related to