The letter was sent in response to FITNET, a controversial study that purported children and young people with ME could be successfully treated through CBT conducted over the internet. Esther Crawley of Bristol University argued that the study was not controversial, yet opposition to FITNET has remained widespread.
“The concept that ME can be improved with solely behavioural techniques is decades old, and frankly, an embarrassment to the nation’s scientific and patient community.”
In their November statement, #MEAction Network UK’s L.A. Cooper said reports of CBT being a treatment for ME are “ultimately very damaging”, while University of Berkeley’s David Tuller labelled the study “complete nonsense.”
“What a huge waste of time and money,” Tuller said. “When will these people let go of their dysfunctional and delusional belief that CBT is the pathway to ‘recovery’ from this disease?”
This comes just a day after the publication of the preliminary PACE reanalysis from Tom Kindlon, Alem Matthees and Simon McGrath, deeming the “recovery” paper to be “highly misleading”.
With Naviaux’s metabolic findings, Columbia University’s immunology findings, evidence of gut bacteria abnormalities from Cornell University in the US, as well as research into pharmaceutical treatment Haukeland University in Norway and biomarker research in Australia’s Griffith University, why is the UK so far behind in ME research?
L.A. Cooper is urging British researchers to put aside discredited behavioural treatments and focus on the biological science of the disease in 2017.
“We can’t continue to feign ignorance and pretend other countries aren’t speeding ahead,” Cooper said. “The concept that ME can be improved with solely behavioural techniques is decades old, and frankly, an embarrassment to the nation’s scientific and patient community.”
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