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Reanalysis of PACE trial reignites row over chronic fatigue treatment

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i5230 (Published 29 September 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i5230
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

A preliminary reanalysis of the controversial PACE trial into treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome has concluded that the previously reported recovery rates were inflated fourfold and that the recovery rates in the cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and graded exercise therapy groups were not significantly higher than in the group of patients who had specialist medical care alone.1

The reanalysis, published on the Virology blog, comes after a five year battle to get the original data released. Alem Matthees, an Australian patient with chronic fatigue syndrome, finally succeeded in getting Queen Mary University of London to release the data under the UK Freedom of Information Act.2 3

However, the team of researchers behind the PACE (pacing, graded activity, and cognitive behaviour therapy: a randomised evaluation) trial have said that their own reanalysis confirmed their original conclusion that CBT and graded exercise therapy, but not adaptive pacing therapy, can moderately improve fatigue and physical function in people with chronic fatigue …

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