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PACE trial claims for recovery in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome - true or false? It's time for an independent review of the methodology and results

PainSci » bibliography » Shepherd 2017
Tags: fibromyalgia, bad science, random, chronic pain, pain problems, scientific medicine

Two articles on PainSci cite Shepherd 2017: 1. Strength Training for Pain & Injury Rehab2. A Rational Guide to Fibromyalgia

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

The PACE trial set out to discover whether cognitive behaviour therapy and graded exercise therapy are safe and effective forms of treatment for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. It concluded that these interventions could even result in recovery. However, patient evidence has repeatedly found that cognitive behaviour therapy is ineffective and graded exercise therapy can make the condition worse. The PACE trial methodology has been heavily criticised by clinicians, academics and patients. A re-analysis of the data has cast serious doubts on the recovery rates being claimed. The trust of patients has been lost. The medical profession must start listening to people with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome if trust is going to be restored.

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