Trial By Error: The Dutch Review; My Trip; Bristol’s Silence



By David Tuller, DrPH.


And now some potentially good news from the Netherlands.

Two years ago, the Dutch parliament asked the Health Council—an independent scientific advisory body—to review the state of evidence related to the illness generally called chronic fatigue syndrome in the Netherlands. That review was to include the evidence for rehabilitative treatments like cognitive behavior therapy and graded exercise therapy. The Netherlands, of course, has its own chapter of the CBT/GET ideological brigades. These researchers, like their close colleagues the PACE authors, have published methodologically problematic studies that have appeared to affirm the efficacy of CBT and GET.

I have seen a copy of the committee’s draft report (in Dutch), which was distributed to stakeholders in November for comment. The final report based on that draft is scheduled to be released next week. Despite concerns expressed at the beginning of the process that the biopsychosocial forces might dominate the proceedings, the draft report significantly downgraded the current recommendations for rehabilitative therapies, so here’s hoping few or no changes were made in the final version.


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