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Home orthostatic training in chronic fatigue syndrome - a randomized, placebo-controlled feasibility study

Lookup NU author(s): Jean Gray, Dr Maw Tan, Jessie Pairman, Katharine Wilton, Dr Steve Parry, Emerita Professor Julia Newton


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P>Background Orthostatic (Tilt)-training is an effective treatment for neurally mediated hypotension (NMH). NMH is a frequent finding in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). We evaluated home orthostatic training (HOT) in CFS in a randomized placebo-controlled feasibility study. Methods Thirty-eight patients with CFS (Fukuda Criteria) were randomly allocated to daily tilt training (n = 19) or sham training (n = 19) for 6 months. Haemodynamic responses to standing were performed in all subjects using continuous technology (Taskforce) at enrolment, week 1, 4 and 24. Symptom response and compliance were assessed using diaries. Results Two patients (one from each arm) withdrew from the study. Fourteen patients in each group complied completely or partially, and patients found the training manageable and achievable. Compared to the sham group, blood pressure while standing dropped to 8 center dot 0 mmHg less in the HOT group at 4 weeks (95% CI: 1 center dot 0 to 15 center dot 0, P = 0 center dot 03). At 4 weeks, the HOT group had higher total peripheral resistance compared to the sham group; mean difference 70 center dot 2, 95% CI: -371 center dot 4 to 511 center dot 8. Changes were maintained at 6 months. There was no significant difference in fatigue between groups at 4 weeks (mean difference 1 center dot 4, 95% CI: -13 center dot 5 to 16 center dot 2), but there was a trend towards improvement in fatigue at 6 months. Compliers had lower fatigue compared to non-compliers. Conclusions A placebo-controlled study of HOT in CFS is feasible. HOT is well tolerated and generally complied with. A likely physiological rationale for HOT in CFS is related to reductions in orthostatic intolerance. An adequately powered study including strategies to enhance compliance is warranted.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sutcliffe K, Gray J, Tan MP, Pairman J, Wilton K, Parry SW, Newton JL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of Clinical Investigation

Year: 2010

Volume: 40

Issue: 1

Pages: 18-24

ISSN (print): 0014-2972

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2362

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2362.2009.02225.x


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Funder referenceFunder name
DMT_RCP/DMT 1ST ROUND (5)The Dunhill Medical Trust