Internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (FITNET) is an effective treatment for adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome
Design: Randomised controlled trial.
Allocation: Computer generated blocked allocation.
Blinding: Investigators and participants were not blinded.
Setting: Two outpatient clinics in Holland (paediatric hospital and treatment coordinating centre) receiving nationwide referrals.
Patients: 135 adolescents aged 12–18 years with chronic fatigue symptoms (Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) definition).
Intervention: Adolescents were randomised to two groups to receive: newly developed computer-based FITNET programme (containing cognitive behavioural modules, e-consults and a separate parental programme) or standard care (combination of cognitive behavioural therapy, rehabilitation or graded exercise programmes).
Outcomes: Primary outcomes were school attendance, fatigue severity and physical functioning at 6 and 12 months, assessed via questionnaires and subscale ratings. Secondary outcome was self-rated improvement.
Follow-up period: Outcomes were assessed at 6 and 12 months.
Patient follow-up: At 6 and 12 months, 67/68 and 64/68 adolescents allocated to FITNET and 64/67 and 63/67 adolescents allocated to standard care were analysed respectively. Intention-to-treat analysis …
Correspondence to Dr Esther M Crawley, Centre for Child and Adolescent Health, School of Social and Community Medicine, Oakfield House, Oakfield Grove Bristol BS8 2BN, UK;