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Distress signals: Does cognitive behavioural therapy reduce or increase distress in chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis?

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By Keith R. Laws 

Abstract
 

Reducing the psychological distress associated with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis is seen as a key aim of cognitive behavioural therapy. Although cognitive behavioural therapy is promoted precisely in this manner by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence, the evidence base on distress reduction from randomised controlled trials is limited, equivocal and poor quality. Crucially, data derived from multiple patient surveys point to worsening and increase distress; however, despite being invited, such data have been dismissed as second class by National Institute of Clinical Excellence. Crucially, the claim by National Institute of Clinical Excellence that cognitive behavioural therapy reduces distress in chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis is not only at odds with what patients repeatedly report in surveys, but with their own gold-standard randomised controlled trial and meta-analytic data.

Source: Keith R. Laws. Distress signals: Does cognitive behavioural therapy reduce or increase distress in chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis? Journal of Health Psychology. First Published May 17, 2017. (Full article)

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2 thoughts on “Distress signals: Does cognitive behavioural therapy reduce or increase distress in chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis?”

  1. siebertesther says:

    CBT is a fine modality for helping patients cope with their limitations and problems by reframing them.
    HOW PACE USES CBT IS A DISTORTION OF IT AKIN TO BRAINWASHING.

    CBT can help people reframe their problems in a way that relieves stress and helps them cope.

    But CBT as used in the PACE study starts with an agenda, distorting how it works. If your therapist is programmed to convince you that you’re not really physically ill and that your experience is false, it is no longer CBT. It is brainwashing. And it gives CBT an undeserved bad name.

  2. dfwmom says:

    The stress and exertion of leaving the house, travelling to town, walking to the doctor’s office, waiting in the doctor’s office, and dealing with an asshole anaesthesologist pain clinic doctor in addition to the kind and patient CBT counselor, could put my daughter into a flare that could cause immediate extreme disability (memory impairment, severe cognitive impairment, syncope, etc…) and could last for several days or more than a week.

    The benefit was not sufficient to overcome this serious negative impact on her condition, and after she chose to STOP the treatments, her condition IMPROVED.

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