Graded exercise therapy is not safe for ME or Long Covid – Guardian Letters

In response to an article on Long Covid last week, the Guardian published a letter from three men – Dr Alistair Miller, Professor Paul Garner and Professor Peter White. This letter spread false information about the efficacy and safety of graded exercise therapy for ME and Long Covid. 

We are pleased to see that The Guardian has now published two further letters disputing this misinformation. Dr Charles Shepherd and Rachel Harding concisely rebut the claim that graded exercise therapy is safe and effective.

#MEAction UK spokesperson Sian Leary also wrote to The Guardian in response to the Miller, Garner & White letter. You can read her letter below.  

We are considering further measures to combat the continued peddling of misinformation around graded exercise therapy. It is vital that people with ME and those with Long Covid understand the harms of this approach, and that healthcare professionals do not provide discredited advice that endangers their patients.

Dear Editor, 

In their letter published 11th March 2021, Dr Miller, Prof Garner and Prof White assert that no trials of graded exercise therapy have shown harm to patients. 

Curiously, they do not mention the mass of survey data demonstrating that a majority of people with ME report deteriorating following graded exercise therapy.1,2 

Considering two of these men have staked their professional careers on graded exercise being safe and effective for people with ME, it is hard not to question whether their selective and incomplete presentation of evidence has an ulterior motive. 

In fact, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence has recently released draft guidelines for the treatment of ME that state “Do not offer people with ME/CFS any programme based on fixed incremental increases in physical activity or exercise, for example graded exercise therapy” noting that the trials of graded exercise therapy were of low or very low quality.3

Just as with drug treatments, therapies for Long Covid should be proven safe before they are recommended by health professionals. 

Sian Leary

#MEAction UK Spokesperson

References:

  1. Geraghty, K., Hann, M., & Kurtev, S. (2019). Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome patients’ reports of symptom changes following cognitive behavioural therapy, graded exercise therapy and pacing treatments: Analysis of a primary survey compared with secondary surveys. Journal of health psychology, 24(10), 1318-1333.

  2. Oxford Clinical Allied Technology and Trials Services Unit (OxCATTS) (2020), Evaluation of a survey exploring the experiences of adults and children with ME/CFS who have participated in CBT and GET interventional programmes. https://www.meaction.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/NICE-Patient-Survey-Outcomes-CBT-and-GET-Oxford-Brookes-Full-Report-03.04.19.pdf

  3. National Institute For Health And Care Excellence (2020) Guideline: Myalgic encephalomyelitis (or encephalopathy)/chronic fatigue syndrome: diagnosis and management. Draft for consultation. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/gid-ng10091/documents/draft-guideline

Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp
Email

1 thought on “Graded exercise therapy is not safe for ME or Long Covid – Guardian Letters”

  1. Spreading false medical treatment information which harms people should be a crime.

    This continued media campaign by the Psych Cabal must have a motive/agenda? Are they angling for research funding or something else?

Comments are closed.

Latest News

a dark plum square image with a brownish/purple square in the middle. The #MEAction logo is at the top center. the words: black ME voices: q&a with Teona Studemire are in a fancy white font. Black history month is at the bottom of the square surrounded by two black stars.

 Black ME Voices: Q&A with Teona Studemire

With it being Black History Month, it was crucial to me to make sure we spotlighted someone from the ME/CFS and Long COVID community who is Black. Being Black and disabled is an entirely different experience. Not only do we deal with ableism, but we also deal with racism, especially medical racism. According to the

Read More »
blue rectangle image with the NIH logo in the top left hand corner. the words: NIH MECFS Research Roadmap Update Public comments open until March 8th appear in the middle of the image. the meaction logo is in the bottom right hand corner.

NIH ME/CFS Research Roadmap Update–Public Comment Period Now Open

The NIH ME/CFS Research Roadmap public comment period is open now with a deadline of March 8th.  #MEAction is a member of the ME/CFS Research Roadmap Working Group and for the past several months we have been advocating on behalf of this community within this group. Our Executive Director, Laurie Jones, served on the nervous

Read More »
Scroll to Top