Comparing specialist medical care with specialist medical care plus the Lightning Process® for chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME): Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial (SMILE Trial)

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Abstract

Background: Chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) is a relatively common and potentially serious condition with a limited evidence base for treatment. Specialist treatment for paediatric CFS/ME uses interventions recommended by National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) including cognitive behavioural therapy, graded exercise therapy and activity management. The Lightning Process® (LP) is a trademarked intervention derived from osteopathy, life-coaching and neuro-linguistic programming, delivered over three consecutive days as group sessions. Although over 250 children with CFS/ME attend LP courses each year, there are no reported studies on the effectiveness or cost-effectiveness.Methods: This pragmatic randomised controlled trial is set within a specialist paediatric CFS/ME service in the south west of England. Children and young people with CFS/ME (n = 80 to 112), aged 12 to 18 years old will be randomised to specialist medical care (SMC) or SMC plus the LP. The primary outcome will be physical function (SF-36 physical function short form) and fatigue (Chalder Fatigue Scale).Discussion: This study will tell us whether adding the LP to SMC is effective and cost-effective compared to SMC alone. This study will also provide detailed information on the implementation of the LP and SMC.Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN81456207 (31 July 2012). © 2013 Crawley et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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Crawley, E., Mills, N., Hollingworth, W., Deans, Z., Sterne, J. A., Donovan, J. L., … Montgomery, A. (2013). Comparing specialist medical care with specialist medical care plus the Lightning Process® for chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME): Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial (SMILE Trial). Trials, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1745-6215-14-444

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