Mindfulness training for chronic fatigue syndrome: a pilot study
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Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
Department of Psychology, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway
Submission date: 2016-08-27
Final revision date: 2016-10-29
Acceptance date: 2016-10-29
Online publication date: 2017-01-31
Publication date: 2017-01-31
Health Psychology Report 2017;5(3):240-250
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a condition characterized by persistent and unexplained fatigue that may result in severe impairment of daily functioning. Currently, there is no curative treatment for CFS, and many patients experience the existing interventions as ineffective. Thus, there is a need for new approaches that target psychological maintenance factors and coping. Mindfulness is an approach to increasing awareness and acceptance of ongoing mental processes. Mindfulness-based interventions have been shown to reduce stress and enhance quality of life in patients with chronic diseases, to increase the tolerance of unpleasant feelings and bodily dysfunction, as well as to facilitate use of appropriate coping skills. This pilot study examined the effect and acceptability of a mindfulness-based intervention for patients with CFS.

Participants and procedure
Ten patients with CFS (eight women, two men) participated in the study. The mindfulness training had a duration of eight weeks with 2-hour weekly meetings. The effect of the intervention was evaluated using a single case series design with a 3-month follow-up.

All patients completed the intervention. Medium to large effect sizes were found for anxiety, fatigue, rumination, depression, and mindfulness. The participants’ feedback indicated increased quality of life and more adaptive coping.

It is concluded that mindfulness-based interventions have a potential to improve the condition of patients with CFS.
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