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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Helps Reduce Post-Viral Fatigue After Covid-19

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 11, May 2023, 20:40 pm IST | UPDATED: 11, May 2023, 20:42 pm IST

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Helps Reduce Post-Viral Fatigue After Covid-19

New Delhi: Those who suffer from COVID-19 post-viral fatigue benefit from cognitive behavioural treatment, which results in fewer fatigue and attention issues. Lead researcher, Hans Knoop, Professor of Medical Psychology at Amsterdam UMC found 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." 

Today, research from Amsterdam UMC, RadboudUMC, and three other hospitals is published in Clinical Infectious Diseases. Following a COVID-19 infection, a significant majority of individuals experience persistent symptoms. The most prevalent symptom is extreme and persistent exhaustion, which is also known as long-COVID or Post-Covid Syndrome. 

Those who underwent cognitive behavioural therapy were compared to those who got standard treatment in the ReCOVer research, which was supported by ZonMw. Typical care included GP or expert monitoring, 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 who 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.

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