Rehabilitation (Stuttg). 2006 Oct;45(5):299-308.
Chronic fatigue in complementary rehabilitative medicine--predictors of the outcomes
Chronic exhaustion and fatigue are increasingly important in rehabilitation medicine. Objectives of this study were (a) to describe the effects of in-patient rehabilitation on patients with chronic fatigue syndromes, (b) to identify predictors for treatment outcome, and (c) to analyze the impact of comprehensive diagnosing on these issues. A total of 171 patients with chronic exhaustion or fatigue (90 % female, mean age 55 +/- 10 yrs) from a rehabilitation hospital with a complementary medicine-based treatment concept were included in a prospective observational study. Within the longitudinal study patients were examined three times (on admission to hospital, at discharge as well as six months later). Participation rate of the postal inquiry was 69 %. Besides items constructed ad hoc, Patient questionnaires included the Symptom Checklist and assessment instruments for depression, quality of life, sense of coherence as well as for changes in experience and behaviour. Treatment outcome was defined as sum score of binary-coded response criteria. The pattern of complaints differed clearly between diagnostic subgroups (neurasthenia, affective disorders, adjustment disorders) before treatment. At discharge from hospital patients showed clinically relevant improvements lasting for six months after rehabilitation. Multiple regression analyses revealed a statistically significant relationship (R (mult) = 0.59) between predictors and outcome at discharge from hospital. A better result was associated with higher trust in treatment success, active information seeking on complementary medicine, healthier feeding habits, better somatic health and a decreased mental status, with regard to the status before treatment. The prediction of outcome after six months was comparably poorer (R (mult) = 0.42). Treatment success was higher in the absence of a diagnosis of neurasthenia, in patients accepting the group-oriented treatment concept and in patients not believing that their disease was due to their own way of living. Trust in the success of the treatment was a highly ranked predictor for longer lasting outcome, too. The results underline the importance of motivation aspects for treatment outcome indicating that individual expectations and attitudes should be considered in a more distinct way when allocating patients to rehabilitative programmes.
PMID: 17024614 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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