Cognitive behavioural therapy can improve fatigue after Covid-19: Study
London : People with post-viral fatigue after suffering from Covid-19 can benefit from cognitive behavioural therapy, resulting in less fatigue and concentration problems, suggests a study.After a Covid infection, a substantial number of patients report persisting symptoms.
This is often known as long-Covid or Post-Covid Syndrome and the most common symptom is severe and debilitating fatigue.The study led by a team from University Medical Center (UMC) Amsterdam and Radboud in Netherlands found that after behavioural therapy, Covid patients not only had less symptoms but also functioned better both physically and socially.
The improvements persisted even after six months, said lead researcher, Hans Knoop, Professor of Medical Psychology at Amsterdam UMC.The findings are published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
In the study, patients who received cognitive behavioural therapy were compared with patients who received care as usual. Normal care often consisted of supervision by their general practitioner or specialist, physiotherapy and/or occupational therapy.
Cognitive behavioural therapy for patients with persistent fatigue after Covid-19 focused on reducing fatigue by dealing with the symptoms differently.“Together with patients, we looked, for example, at how they can improve their sleep-wake rhythm.
We also helped them become more active again with small, safe steps. For example, by going for short walks,” Knoop said.Cognitive behavioural therapy showed 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,” Knoop noted.The researchers emphasise that the fact that behavioural therapy can help does not mean that the cause of the symptoms is psychological.
Furthermore, not everyone benefits from behavioural therapy.It is therefore very important to continue to search for other effective treatments and the physical causes of the post-Covid syndrome, the team said.