What Long-Term Follow-Up Data Tell Us About The Evidence On GET And CBT

From ME/CFS Skeptic.

After years of waiting, the long-term follow-up results of the GETSET study have finally been published. The control group that received no intervention did just as well as the group that received guided graded exercise self-help. This isn’t the first time that the control group catches up over time. A similar pattern was seen in the FINE, PACE, FITNET, and QURE-studies. This blog post explores the intriguing implications of these follow-up findings.

Controversial treatments

Graded exercise therapy (GET) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are both controversial treatments for patients suffering from myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). For many years GET and CBT were promoted as evidence-based treatments but patient organizations have strongly objected to this. They refer to multiple surveys where patients report GET and CBT to be unhelpful or even harmful. In more recent years, methodological weaknesses of GET and CBT trials were highlighted. This has promoted prestigious institutions like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US and The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK, to change course and no longer recommend GET or CBT as effective treatments for ME/CFS.

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