Conservation of Resources Theory, Perceived Stress, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Outcomes of a Consumer-Driven Rehabilitation Program

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ObjectiveTo evaluate the impact of a consumer-driven rehabilitation program on perceptions of loss and gain of interpersonal relationships, energy, material objects, work benefits and opportunities, well-being, and experiences of mastery in persons with chronic fatigue syndrome.Study DesignParticipants were randomly assigned to a program group (n = 23) or a control group (n = 24). Outcomes were assessed (a) at baseline, (b) after program participants completed an illness management group, and (c) after they completed one-on-one peer counseling.SettingA community-based advocacy organization for individuals with disabilities.InterventionsFour months of illness management groups followed by 7 months of one-on-one peer counseling emphasizing goal setting and goal attainment.Main Outcome MeasureThe Conservation of Resources Evaluation scale.ResultsSignificant gains were observed for program participants across all categories of resource gain—interpersonal, energy, material, work, well-being, and mastery resources. Effect sizes were moderate to large.ConclusionsPrograms in which participatory action research methods are used may have a positive impact on resource acquisition for individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome.

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