Those suffering from COVID-19 post-viral fatigue benefit from cognitive behavioural therapy, which reduces fatigue and focus problems.
Hans Knoop, Professor of Medical Psychology at Amsterdam UMC and lead researcher, discovered that "after behavioural therapy, patients not only had less symptoms but also functioned better both physically and socially. Those improvements were still present even after six months." Clinical Infectious Diseases released a study from Amsterdam UMC, RadboudUMC, and three additional institutions.
Following a COVID-19 infection, the vast majority of people develop lasting symptoms. The most common symptom is excessive and chronic tiredness, often known as long-COVID or Post-Covid Syndrome.
In the ReCOVer study, which was funded by ZonMw, individuals who received cognitive behavioural therapy were compared to those who received conventional treatment.
A typical course of treatment would involve GP or specialist supervision, physiotherapy, and/or occupational therapy.
Cognitive behavioural therapy for patients with persistent fatigue after COVID-19 focuses on reducing fatigue by dealing with the symptoms differently.
"Together with patients, we look, for example, at how they can improve their sleep-wake rhythm. We also help them become more active again with small, safe steps. For example, by going for short walks," said Knoop.
Cognitive behavioural therapy has clear results for these patients. Most participants experienced significantly less fatigue and improved concentration after treatment. They also made significant progress socially and physically. The results also proved to be stable over time. After six months, the differences, compared with those received regular care, were still present.
"Cognitive behavioural therapy also appears to be a safe treatment. Our research shows that the symptoms did not worsen, and new symptoms arose less often," added Knoop. (ANI)