Exercise therapy looks promising for alleviating symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is persistent, medically unexplained fatigue lasting more than six months.

As many as 3 in a hundred people are estimated to have it. The condition often renders sufferers unable to work or do normal daily activities.

Exercise therapy is commonly prescribed for CFS, and a recent review of the evidence cautiously concludes that this is beneficial. A total of five studies were included in the review.

The results showed that after three months of therapy, fatigue was generally improved as were health-related quality of life, sleep and functional work capacity. As CFS is an ongoing condition, the possibility that a low-cost therapy, with minimal adverse effects, will be effective is extremely promising.

The Cochrane Library - Issue 3 of 2004 is published this week by Wiley, and this newsletter highlights some of the key health care conclusions reached by new Cochrane reviews and their implications for practice.

www.cochrane.org

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