Declaration of interest
K.B. is Editor of the British Journal of Psychiatry; he was not involved in the decision to publish this paper. T.C. receives royalties for self-help books on chronic fatigue.
Cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) is one of the most promising treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). It is unclear whether CBT is effective for Black and minority ethnic (BME) groups.
To assess the effectiveness of CBT in BME patients compared with White British patients presenting to a specialist CFS service.
Data from 67 (19.0%) BME participants and 285 (81.0%) White British participants referred to a specialist CFS service in the UK were collected at baseline and after CBT treatment.
Pairwise comparisons revealed that both BME participants and White British participants significantly improved on measures of fatigue severity (P<0.001), physical functioning (P<0.001) and work/social adjustment (P<0.001). Independent samples t-tests showed that BME participants improved despite exhibiting significantly higher baseline damage beliefs (P = 0.009), catastrophising (P = 0.024), all-or-nothing behaviour (P = 0.036) and avoidance/resting behaviour (P = 0.001), compared with White British participants.
To our knowledge, this study is the first to indicate that CBT is effective for treating CFS in a group of patients from diverse BME backgrounds.
T.C. receives salary support from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Mental Health Biomedical Research Centre at South London and Maudsley National Health Service Foundation Trust and King's College London. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, or the NIHR.
- © The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2016.
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