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Salivary cortisol output before and after cognitive behavioural therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome

 

 

 

J Affect Disord. 2008 Oct 18. [Epub ahead of print]

 

Salivary cortisol output before and after cognitive behavioural therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome.

 

Roberts AD, Papadopoulos AS, Wessely S, Chalder T, Cleare AJ. King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Department of Psychological Medicine, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK; Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Research and Treatment Unit, Maudsley Hospital, Denmark Hill, London, UK.

 

 

BACKGROUND: There is evidence that patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) have mild hypocortisolism. One theory about the aetiology of this hypocortisolism is that it occurs late in the course of CFS via factors such as inactivity, sleep disturbance, chronic stress and deconditioning. We aimed to determine whether therapy aimed at reversing these factors - cognitive behavioural therapy for CFS - could increase cortisol output in CFS.

 

METHODS: We measured diurnal salivary cortisol output between 0800 and 2000h before and after 15 sessions (or 6 months) of CBT in 41 patients with CDC-defined CFS attending a specialist, tertiary outpatient clinic.

 

RESULTS: There was a significant clinical response to CBT, and a significant rise in salivary cortisol output after CBT. LIMITATIONS: We were unable to control for the passage of time using a non-treated CFS group.

 

CONCLUSIONS: Hypocortisolism in CFS is potentially reversible by CBT. Given previous suggestions that lowered cortisol may be a maintaining factor in CFS, CBT offers a potential way to address this.

 

PMID: 18937978 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

 


 

 

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