Chronic fatigue trial results ’not robust’, new study says

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Chronic fatigue trial results ’not robust’, new study says
When the results were re-examined, after data was obtained under a Freedom of Information request, researchers found
that just 20% of CBT patients and 21% of GET patients improved, along with 10% of control patients.
The ME Association, which part-funded the new study, said it was no surprise
that “impressive claims for recovery following CBT and GET are not statistically reliable”.
That randomised trial was designed to examine the effectiveness of graded exercise therapy (GET)
and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, or ME.
The three authors of the original PACE trial – Prof Michael Sharpe, from the University of Oxford,
and Prof Trudie Chalder and Dr Kimberley Goldsmith, from King’s College London, said the new analysis had used only part of the data from the trial.
The PACE trial found the treatments to be “moderately effective”, leading to recovery in a fifth of patients.
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Fresh analysis of a controversial study, which recommended exercise
and psychological therapy for people with chronic fatigue syndrome, suggests their impact is more modest than first thought.
The PACE trial reported that 59% of patients who received CBT
and 61% who had exercise therapy had improved overall, compared with 45% in a control group.


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