Acceptance & Commitment Therapy for ME/CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) – A feasibility study (Pages 89-97)

Volume 12, April 2019, Pages 89-97

Authors:
Martin A. Jonsjö, Rikard K. Wicksell, Linda Holmström, Anna Andreasson, Gunnar L. Olsson

Abstract:

Background
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy has not been evaluated for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) to date. However, recent studies indicate the importance of psychological flexibility for well-being in this condition. The present study is a preliminary evaluation of the feasibility of an ACT-based behavior medicine treatment protocol for ME/CFS.

Methods
40 adult individuals, fulfilling the 1994 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the 2003 clinical case criteria for ME/CFS, consecutively started an individual 13-session ACT-treatment. Data were collected pre-treatment, mid-treatment, post-treatment, and at 3- and 6-month follow-ups. Linear mixed effects modeling was used to analyze treatment effects on ME/CFS-related disability, psychological flexibility, ME/CFS symptoms, anxiety, depression and health-related quality of life.

Results
80% (32) of the participants completed the treatment. ME/CFS-related disability (d = 0.80, p < .001) and psychological flexibility (d=1.07, p < .001) improved between pre- and post-treatment and remained stable between follow-ups. Similar results were found for secondary outcomes.

Conclusions
Results indicate that the treatment was accepted by the participants, with a small drop-out rate and was safe with no harmful effects during or after treatment and also efficient with stable improvements in numerous outcomes.

This article is restricted to ACBS members. Please join or login with your ACBS account.