PACE team response shows a disregard for the principles of science

By J. Edwards
The PACE trial of cognitive behavioural therapy and graded exercise therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis has raised serious questions about research methodology. An editorial article by Geraghty gives a fair account of the problems involved, if anything understating the case. The response by White et al. fails to address the key design flaw, of an unblinded study with subjective outcome measures, apparently demonstrating a lack of understanding of basic trial design requirements. The failure of the academic community to recognise the weakness of trials of this type suggests that a major overhaul of quality control is needed.

Source: Edwards J. PACE team response shows a disregard for the principles of science. J Health Psychol. 2017 Aug;22(9):1155-1158. doi: 10.1177/1359105317700886. Epub 2017 Mar 28.

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One thought on “PACE team response shows a disregard for the principles of science”

  1. IanH says:

    ” the trial has a central flaw that can be
    lost sight of: it is an unblinded trial with subjec-
    tive outcome measures. That makes it a non-
    starter in the eyes of any physician or clinical
    pharmacologist familiar with problems of sys-
    tematic bias in trial execution.”

    I have spoken with three medical practitioners who are familiar with the PACE trials and whose opinions favour the outcomes of the trial ie CBT and GET are the only “successful” treatments. Yet, even though they know that the study was un-blinded and relied on subjective outcome observations and reports they stick to their idea that CBT and GET (particularly the latter) are the favoured treatments.

    Go Figure! They will only change their thinking when the Lancet withdraws the paper. They don’t believe me!

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