Journalists Covering ME/CFS: Don’t Ask About The New NICE Guideline, Ask About The Old One

By Brian Hughes in The Science Bit.

far suggest the new guideline will be dramatically different from the old one. Graded Exercise Therapy is set to be expunged entirely, while Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is no longer to be used as “treatment” for ME/CFS, but instead is to be recommended as psychological support for people’s mental health and well-being.

By extension, the so-called “science” of so-called “psychogenic illness” is on the verge of being discredited. The whole transition amounts to nothing less than a paradigm shift in what has long been a contentious area of medicine.

Of course, there has been pushback from some quarters. Recently I described a highly partisan news story that appeared in the BMJ. The BMJ journalist appeared genuinely confused as to why the old guidelines had to be changed at all. As they wrote:

In 2007, NICE recommended interventions such as cognitive behavioural therapy and graded exercise therapy for people with mild or moderate ME/CFS, whereas the draft update cites a “lack of evidence for the effectiveness of these interventions.” It is unclear, however, how the evidence became unsupportive.

I anticipate that this line — “it is unclear how the evidence became unsupportive” — will be the preferred narrative used by those who wish to discredit the new guideline when it is published next week.

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