This is a systematic review collating research from 12 relevant studies with the objective of reviewing the effectiveness and safety of of mind-body interventions in CFS and ME.
7 studies were prospective randomised controlled trials. The remaining 5 studies were single arm experiments (which essentially means no controls were included), all in all including 572 patients.
The mind body interventions that were researched were very varied and included art, visualisation, brain re-training, emotional freedom techniques, Qi-gong, meditation, NLP and yoga. For the full list please follow this link to the full study.
This was an international effort including research from UK, USA, Japan, Hong Kong, Sweden, Norway and Belgium.
This study recruited patients to be part of their research team, holding several consultations with them in order to ensure context and relevance to the studies that were being looked at. This is a real strength of this review.
However, what I found most interesting was that the study was done in response to so many people turning to mind body interventions with a diagnosis of CFS/ME, likely because there is an absence of any other options.
Research often is needed to validate a clinically useful intervention before it can be safely adopted widely. This study is a good attempt at doing this.
The overall benefits from this review were positive.
Fatigue, anxiety, depression, quality of life and quality of sleep scores were consistently significantly (statistically) improved.
Although adverse effects were only reported in 7 studies. 4 did not report any adverse effects. 3 studies did report adverse events such as deterioration of their symptoms, muscle ache, palpitation, dizziness, knee pain, backache, fatigue, and nervousness.
Although there were criticisms of small sample sizes and a heterogenous mix of study designs this study did demonstrate an overall trend of safe and effective mind-body interventions that can offer hope and significant improvement in symptoms for patients with CFS or ME.
For link to the full article click here
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