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Young People With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome To Undergo Trial Following Its Success

First Posted: Nov 03, 2016 04:20 AM EDT
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After its success in the Netherlands, a therapy that treats two-thirds of children suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome will be trialled for NHS use. It will use a form of behavioral therapy to help young people adapt their way of life.

According to BBC, the treatment will use intensive online therapy sessions aiming to adjust activity levels and sleeping habits. Studies reveal that one out of 100 children suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome misses at least one day of class per week. Also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, the disease affects one out of 50 young people and leads to mental health problems.

Jessica, a sufferer of the illness, compared the condition to feeling like doing a marathon all the time. In one school year, she missed an equivalent of an entire term when she was 10. She was diagnosed with the disease when she was 11. Among Jessica's frustrations is not being able to do what her friends do like socializing and having fun. She likewise lost some of her friends.

Children's doctor Prof. Esther Crawley said the illness is indeed devastating. While feeling tired is a normal thing, children suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome stop doing the things they want to do.

As for the treatment, The Guardian reported that the behavioral therapy aims to help children overcome and understand the exhaustion that neither rest nor sleep can help. A therapist conducts sessions over the internet using Skype, questionnaires, and diaries. The young people who will undergo the therapy are expected to change the way they think of the illness and lessen the time they spend sleeping.

Prof. Crawley currently leads the FITNET-NHS trial. It aims to determine if online consultations work and see if it is cost-effective for the health service. The trial in the Netherlands suggested that 63 percent of the patients had no symptoms after six months. As of writing, it is the largest one conducted concerning chronic fatigue syndrome.

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