While teens are often discouraged from engaging with their laptops before sleep, a new online therapy program has proved to recover fatigue in teenagers over a 6-month period.
Teenagers who took part in a FITNET online therapy program found that the treatment not only reduced chronic fatigue, but made them more productive boosting their attendance at school and increasing their daily physical activity.
To carry out the study, researchers from the Netherlands recruited 135 teens suffering from chronic fatigue. Of these, 68 were randomly assigned to FITNET and 67 were assigned to normal care, according to the Medical Express.
After a six month period 85 percent of the FITNET teenagers reported that they no longer suffered from chronic fatigue. Here are five ways the therapy helped them:
1. The fact the treatment is online makes it available for teens at any time, which means they don't have to go out of their way to get the treatment and if carried out properly, they can reach positive results more rapidly, the study found.
2. Most teens suffering from chronic fatigue can't attend school and classes. Three quarters of the Internet Group that took part in FITNET returned to school within the 6-month period. Only 16 percent of those who had in-person therapy as part of the study made it back to school in that time.
3. The ease and efficiently of the online therapy has attracted a higher participation rate, which results in teenagers addressing their fatigue more quickly and positively.
4. Over the course of 6-months the teenagers saw an increase in their ability to carry out physical activity.
5. The treatment is cost effective and much cheaper than getting in-person treatment with a therapist, which encourages teenagers to sign up and start the treatment more quickly.
With FITNET, effective treatment is within reach for any adolescent with chronic fatigue syndrome. These findings stress the need for proper and rapid diagnosis and making medical professionals aware of adolescent chronic fatigue syndrome and the treatment options, the study's lead author, Sanne Nijhof, MD, from the University Medical Centre Utrecht in the Netherlands, said in a press release.
Chronic fatigue is a rare syndrome in teenagers, but according to the author of the study online therapy can be used to help cure fatigue in teenagers who also suffer from cancer and other chronic diseases.
The results of the study are published online in the journal: The Lancet.