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Tackling fears about exercise is important for ME treatment, analysis indicates

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 14 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h227
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

Reducing worry that exercise or activity will worsen symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME) is important for the success of cognitive behavioural therapy or graded exercise therapy in reducing fatigue and improving physical function, concludes a new analysis of data from the PACE trial, reported in the Lancet Psychiatry.1

Earlier results from the PACE (adaptive pacing, graded activity, and cognitive behaviour therapy—a randomised evaluation) trial, published in the Lancet in 2011, showed that in a group of 641 patients cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and graded exercise therapy (GET) were of more benefit at 52 weeks to people with chronic fatigue syndrome than adaptive pacing therapy (APT) and usual specialist medical care.2

In GET the patient undertakes a personalised and gradually increasing exercise programme delivered by a physiotherapist, whereas in APT the patient adapts their activity levels to the amount of energy …

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