Students study near the Student Activity Center on campus at...

Students study near the Student Activity Center on campus at Stony Brook University. (Sept. 21, 2010) Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

A Stony Brook University professor has won a $600,000 two-year grant from the National Institutes of Health for research on home management techniques for people with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Dr. Fred Friedberg, a research associate professor and clinical psychologist at the Stony Brook medical school, also received an initial $100,000 NIH grant in 2008 to launch the home-based self management program.

"There are no effective and established medical treatments for these illnesses, and the behavioral program is intended to help patients function and feel better," Friedberg said in a news release.

The causes of chronic fatigue are still unknown, he said.

The self-management program involves lifestyle change and stress reduction techniques including graduated exercise, pacing techniques, cognitive coping skills, low effort pleasant activities and social support.

"This ongoing study tests a home-based version of cognitive-behavioral treatment that is based on a self-help model of illness management," Friedberg said. "We also want to see if this type of intervention saves health care costs, an important issue because of the ever increasing expenditures for health care."

Next month, Friedberg will be recruiting additional patients for the program. Applicants must be fatigued for at least six months.

Stony Brook's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science will analyze the study's findings. For more information, contact Friedberg at 631-632-8252.

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