Management of chronic (post-viral) fatigue syndrome

J R Coll Gen Pract. 1989 Jan;39(318):26-9.


Simple rehabilitative strategies are proposed to help patients with the chronic fatigue syndrome. A model is outlined of an acute illness giving way to a chronic fatigue state in which symptoms are perpetuated by a cycle of inactivity, deterioration in exercise tolerance and further symptoms. This is compounded by the depressive illness that is often part of the syndrome. The result is a self-perpetuating cycle of exercise avoidance. Effective treatment depends upon an understanding of the interaction between physical and psychological factors. Cognitive behavioural therapy is suggested. Cognitive therapy helps the patient understand how genuine symptoms arise from the frequent combination of physical inactivity and depression, rather than continuing infection, while a behavioural approach enables the treatment of avoidance behaviour and a gradual return to normal physical activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / rehabilitation*
  • Humans