Reducing Arthritis Fatigue Impact: Two-year Randomized Controlled Trial of Cognitive Behavioral Approaches by Rheumatology Teams

Fatigue is a common side effect of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and while cognitive behavioral therapy is known to help, clinical psychologists are not available in every rheumatology unit to deliver it. A randomized, controlled trial found that rheumatology teams can improve this symptom through cognitive-behavioral approaches in addition to usual care. Reducing Arthritis Fatigue: clinical Teams using cognitive behavioral approaches (RAFT) included seven sessions conducted by a pair of rheumatology nurses and/or occupational therapists. All seven teams successfully delivered RAFT. At six months and two years, RAFT successfully reduced the effect of fatigue beyond usual care. Patient attendance and satisfaction were both high. Researchers specifically observed improvements in emotional fatigue, living with fatigue, coping with fatigue and self-efficacy.

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