CBT repackaged or a novel treatment? The Lightning Process® compared with specialist medical care for paediatric Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Emma Anderson, Maria Loades, Jennifer Starbuck, Phil Parker, Fiona Finch, Rebecca Barnes, Lucy Beasant, Esther Crawley

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Abstract

Rationale

UK specialist medical care (SMC) for paediatric Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME) includes behavioural approaches (Graded Exercise Therapy; Activity Management) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for fatigue (CBT-F). Treatment is suboptimal with a third of children not recovering after 6 months of SMC. Many families seek alternative treatments at personal cost, including the Lightning Process (LP). Evidence shows LP can improve patient outcomes, though this intervention is not widely known/understood.
Objectives

To describe LP in comparison with SMC approaches in order to identify distinct elements, inform clinicians about treatment options, and generate hypotheses around effectiveness.
Methods

Theoretical comparison including stakeholder consultation.
Results

While overlaps with SMC approaches were identified, and CBT-F in particular, distinct elements of LP were its focus on language style, neurophysiological rationale, affective/physiological change technique and mode of delivery.
Conclusion

This theoretical comparison identified distinct elements of LP which could be explored in future interventions or research aiming to improve clinical outcomes for children with CFS/ME, and informs clinicians about treatment options available for families.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-98
JournalFatigue: Biomedicine, Health and Behavior
Volume9
Issue number2
Early online date5 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2021

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