Author(s): Gielissen MF, Verhagen S, Witjes F, Bleijenberg G
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Abstract PURPOSE: Persistent fatigue is a long-term adverse effect experienced by 30\% to 40\% of patients cured of cancer. The main objective of this randomized controlled trial was to show the effectiveness of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) especially designed for fatigue in cancer survivors. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 112 cancer survivors with somatically unexplained fatigue were allocated randomly to immediate cognitive behavior therapy or to a waiting list condition for therapy. Both conditions were assessed two times, at baseline and 6 months later. The primary outcome variables were fatigue severity (Checklist Individual Strength) and functional impairment (Sickness Impact Profile). Data were analyzed by intention to treat. RESULTS: Analyses were based on 50 patients in the intervention condition and 48 patients in the waiting list condition. Patients in the intervention condition reported a significantly greater decrease than patients in the waiting list condition in fatigue severity (difference, 13.3; 95\% CI, 8.6 to 18.1) and in functional impairment (difference, 383.2; 95\% CI, 197.1 to 569.2). Clinically significant improvement for the CBT group compared with the waiting list group was seen in fatigue severity (54\% v 4\% of the patients, respectively) and in functional impairment (50\% v 18\% of the patients, respectively). CONCLUSION: Cognitive behavior therapy has a clinically relevant effect in reducing fatigue and functional impairments in cancer survivors.
This article was published in J Clin Oncol
and referenced in Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy