Trial By Error: The New Interferon “CFS” Study


David Tuller


By David Tuller, DrPH

I haven’t had time to cover the new and wildly over-hyped study about prolonged fatigue–and purportedly about “chronic fatigue syndrome”–that was published this week in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology. Thanks no doubt to the involvement of the Science Media Centre, this mildly interesting piece of research has received widespread media attention.

Since the study team included confirmed members of the biopsychosocial ideological brigades, I remain wary of the motives of those involved. Even more so since this group of researchers apparently continues to define the illness using the discredited Oxford criteria, as they do in the Psychoneuroendocrinology study. This case definition requires only six months of unexplained fatigue and is known to generate heterogeneous populations of people suffering from a range of fatiguing disorders.


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