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Lightning Process Research

There is a growing body of published scientific research into the effectiveness of the Phil Parker Lightning Process®️. Any new intervention needs to demonstrate its effectiveness, however it often takes years from designing a study, getting ethics approval, running the project, funding, analysing the data and writing and publishing the results. I have summarised those which I feel are helpful to know about below.

A Pilot Study

A recent (August 2021) mixed methods pilot study looked at the question 'Does the Lightning Process Training Programme reduce chronic fatigue in adolescent and young adult cancer survivors?'

Chronic fatigue is a common late adverse effect following cancer treatment. This pilot study evaluated the perceived efficacy of the LP training programme in 13 young adult or adolescent cancer survivors treated for sarcoma or Hodgkins lymphoma. The results showed statistically significant improvements were documented for all the patient-reported outcome measure (PROM) questionnaires comparing the pre-and post-intervention periods. In interviews, participants emphasised that they now experienced both less fatigue and explicit improvement in their energy level and that the LP had not worsened their health or caused them any negative side effects and that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the intervention.

The researchers noted that ‘The reductions in the participants’ total fatigue scores were remarkable, since no changes in their overall level of fatigue, as subjectively expressed by the participants themselves, were reported over the preceding years.’

Click here to read the full article

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A Research Article

New research has been published (July 2021) comparing the Lightning Process (LP) to UK Specialist Medical Care (SMC) used for paediatric (childrens) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) by a team led by researchers at the University of Bristol. It identifies differences and similarities between the two approaches and notes overlaps with SMC and some distinct elements of the LP, such as the LP's focus on language style, neurophysiological rationale, affective/physiological change technique and mode of delivery. 

Click here to see the full article.

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A Systematic Review
There has been an exciting new systematic review of the evidence base for the Lightning Process. A systematic review is one of the most reliable sources of evidence to guide clinical practice. The purpose of a systematic review is to provide a thorough summary of all the available primary research in response to a research question. 

The systematic review published was published in August 2020 in The Explore Journal. The review identified an emerging body of evidence supporting the efficacy of the Lightning Process for many participants with fatigue, physical dysfunction, pain, anxiety and depression. 

Click here to see the full summary of this article.  

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A Randomised Controlled Trial
The ‘Smile’ trial was a randomised controlled trial run in conjunction with the NHS and the University of Bristol. 

It was looking at the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the Lightning Process in addition to specialist medical care for paediatric Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. (They had to study in addition to the usual medical care rather than instead of usual medical care in order for the study to be approved.) 

It concluded that ‘The Lightning Process is effective and is probably cost-effective when provided in addition to specialist medical care for mild/moderately affected adolescents with CFS/ME’.


Click here to read the full article. 

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A Snapshot Survey
The snapshot surveys of Lightning Process Outcomes and Experiences were completed by 1297 people who attended a Lightning Process Seminar in a variety of locations throughout the UK and Norway, between January 2007 and May 2010. 

The results showed that 81.3% of clients reported improvement after the Lightning Process Course. 

Click here to read the full survey.

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