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Table 3 RCTs with non-pharmacological interventions

From: Systematic review of randomized controlled trials for chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME)

Intervention N. of participants (N. of arms, control) Period (week) Primary measurement (subscale) Significance
CBT
 iCBT [41] 240 (3, waitlist) 27 CIS (fatigue) P < 0.01
 Group CBT [42] 204 (3, waitlist) 24 CIS (fatigue), SF-36 (physical score) CIS: d > 0.8
 CBT [43] 122 (2, MRT) 24 CIS (fatigue), SF-36 Not significant
 FITNET [44] 135 (2, usual care) 48 SAR, CIS (fatigue), CHQ (physical score) P < 0.01
 CBT + GET [45] 120 (2, usual care) 24 SF-36 Not significant
 CBT [46] 640 (4, MC) 24 Chalder scale, SF-36 (physical score) P < 0.01
 Family-focused CBT [47] 63 (2, psychoeducation) 24 SAR Not significant
 Group CBT [48] 153 (3, education + support, MC) 16 SF-36 (physical, mental score) Not significant
 CBT [49] 71 (2, waitlist) 20 CIS (fatigue), SF-36 (physical score), SAR CIS, SF-36: P < 0.01, SAR: P < 0.05
 CBT [50] 278 (3, guided support, no treatment) 32 CIS (fatigue), SIP-8 CIS: P < 0.01, SIP: P < 0.05
 CBT [51] 60 (2, relaxation) 16–24 Chalder scale, SF-36 (physical score) Chalder scale: P < 0.01
 CBT [52] 60 (2, MC) 16 Karnofsky normal function scale P < 0.01
Exercise
 Guided exercise self-help [53] 211 (2, MC) 12 Chalder Scale, SF-36 (physical score) P < 0.01
 Qigong [54] 64 (2, waitlist) 16 Chalder Scale, SF-12 Not significant
 GET [46] 640 (4, MC) 24 Chalder scale, SF-36 (physical score) P < 0.01
 GET [55] 49 (2, MC) 12 Self-rated global change score P < 0.05
 Education to encourage graded exercise [56] 148 (4, MC) 16 SF-36 (physical score) P < 0.01
 Graded aerobic exercise [57] 66 (crossover, flexibility therapy) 12 CGI Not significant
Self-care
 Fatigue self-management [58] 137 (3, usual care) 12 FSS Not significant
 Group-based self-management [59] 137 (2, usual care) 16 SF-36 (physical score) Not significant
 Guided self-instruction [60] 123 (2, waitlist) 20 CIS (fatigue), SF-36 (physical, social score) CIS: P < 0.01
 Stepped care [61] 171 (2, CBT) 16 CIS (fatigue), SIP-8, SF-36 (physical score) Not significant
 Guided self-instruction [62] 169 (2, waitlist) 16 CIS (fatigue), SIP-8, SF-36 (physical score) CIS, SIP8: P < 0.01
Rehabilitation
 Pragmatic rehabilitation [63] 302 (3, supportive listening, general treatment) 18 Chalder scale, SF-36 (physical score) Not significant
 Integrative, consumer-driven rehabilitation [64] 47 (2, delayed program) 16 CFS symptom rating form, the QoL index P < 0.05
Acupuncture
 Acupuncture [65] 150 (3, sa-am, no treat) 4 FSS P < 0.05
 Acupuncture [66] 100 (2, sham) 4 Chalder Scale, SF-12, GHQ-12 (mental score) Chalder scale: P < 0.05
Others
 Abdominal tuina [67] 77 (2, acupuncture) 4 Chalder Scale, SAS, HAMD P < 0.05
 Adaptive pacing [46] 640 (4, MC) 24 Chalder scale, SF-36 (physical score) Not significant
 Low-sugar, low-yeast diet [68] 52 (2, healthy eating) 24 Chalder scale, SF-36 Not significant
 Distant healing [69] 409 (4, not knowing, no treat) 24 SF-36 (mental score) Not significant
  1. CBT cognitive behavior therapy, FITNET Fatigue in Teenagers on the interNET, GET graded exercise therapy, CIS Checklist Individual Strength, SF-36 36-item Short Form health survey, SAR school attendance rate, CHQ Child Health Questionnaire, SIP-8 Sickness Impact Profile, CGI Clinical Global Impression, FSS Fatigue Severity Scale, GHQ-12 General Health Questionnaire-12, SAS Self-rating Anxiety Scale, HAMD Hamilton rating scale for Depression