Which cognitions and behaviours mediate the positive effect of cognitive behavioural therapy on fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis?
Summary of "Which cognitions and behaviours mediate the positive effect of cognitive behavioural therapy on fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis?"
Chronic fatigue is a common symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS). A randomized controlled trial (RCT) showed that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) was more effective in reducing MS fatigue than relaxation training (RT). The aim of the current study was to analyse additional data from this trial to determine whether (1) CBT compared to RT leads to significantly greater changes in cognitions and behaviours hypothesized to perpetuate MS fatigue; (2) changes in these variables mediate the effect of CBT on MS fatigue; and (3) these mediation effects are independent of changes in mood.MethodSeventy patients (CBT, n=35; RT, n=35) completed the Cognitive and Behavioural Responses to Symptoms Questionnaire (CBSQ), the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (B-IPQ) modified to measure negative representations of fatigue, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and the Chalder Fatigue Questionnaire (CFQ), pre- and post-therapy. Multiple mediation analysis was used to determine which variables mediated the change in fatigue.
Avoidance behaviour and three cognitive variables (symptom focusing, believing symptoms are a sign of damage and a negative representation of fatigue) improved significantly more in the CBT than the RT group. Mediation analysis showed that changing negative representations of fatigue mediated the decrease in severity of fatigue. Change in anxiety covaried with reduction in fatigue but the mediation effect for negative representations of fatigue remained when controlling for improvements in mood.
Change in beliefs about fatigue play a crucial role in CBT for MS fatigue. These beliefs and the role of anxiety deserve more attention in the further development of this intervention.
Expert Centre for Chronic Fatigue, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Psychological medicine
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21672300
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291711000924
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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
Motivational state produced by inconsistencies between simultaneously held cognitions or between a cognition and behavior; e.g., smoking enjoyment and believing smoking is harmful are dissonant.
An effect usually, but not necessarily, beneficial that is attributable to an expectation that the regimen will have an effect, i.e., the effect is due to the power of suggestion.
Cognitive disorders including delirium, dementia, and other cognitive disorders. These may be the result of substance use, trauma, or other causes.
Cognitive mechanism based on expectations or beliefs about one's ability to perform actions necessary to produce a given effect. It is also a theoretical component of behavior change in various therapeutic treatments. (APA, Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms, 1994)
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