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Exercise therapy is a beneficial intervention for chronic fatigue syndrome (PEDro synthesis)
  1. Jasan Dannaway1,
  2. Cameron C New2,
  3. Charles H New1,
  4. Chris G Maher3
  1. 1 Sydney Medical School (Nepean), The University of Sydney, Penrith, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2 School of Physiotherapy, Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3 School of Public Health, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jasan Dannaway, Sydney Medical School Nepean, University of Sydney, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia; jdan9820{at}

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Larun L, Brurberg KG, Odgaard-Jensen J et al. Exercise therapy for chronicfatigue syndrome. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2017;(4):CD003200.


Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a common, systemic condition that impairs function due to incapacitating fatigue, the cause of which is unknown.1 Typical symptoms include fatigue, sleep impairment, muscular pain, headaches and trouble concentrating. If left untreated, the prognosis is poor.2 Exercise has demonstrated promising positive effects for CFS3 possibly via reversing physical deconditioning1 or central desensitisation of the effort of activity.4


To evaluate the effectiveness of exercise for CFS.

Searches and inclusion criteria

Three databases were searched up to May 2014. Additional searches were performed for ongoing and unpublished trials. Reference lists and topic experts were used to source further studies. Randomised controlled trials of exercise interventions were included.


Trials reporting all forms of exercise, defined as a ‘regimen or plan of physical activity designed and prescribed (and) intended to relieve or …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.