What’s in the pipeline? Ongoing, registered, or planned clinical trials for ME/CFS

Evelien Van Den Brink and I were interested in what clinical trials are currently planned or ongoing for ME/CFS. It can take many years to conduct a clinical trial and report the results, so we wanted to know what we can expect to come out in the next years. A search of databases that register …

My comments to the Cochrane review on exercise therapy for CFS

Problems with the amended version (Version published: 02 October 2019) part I. I appreciate the efforts made by Cochrane and the authors to correct some of the errors in the previous version of this review. There are however some major problems that remain and significantly impact the results and conclusion. I hope to clarify these …

Why the Cochrane review on exercise therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome is still misleading

On Wednesday, October 2, Cochrane published a long-awaited amendment to its review of exercise therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) [1] following a formal complaint to Cochrane’s Editor in Chief. Unfortunately, the published amendment does not address the main flaws of the review and continues to overestimate the evidence for exercise therapy in CFS. In …

Turning a blind eye to blinding

Blinding, sometimes called masking, is the process of keeping key persons involved in the conduct of a clinical trial unaware of group assignment. In a typical randomized controlled trial, neither patients nor therapists know who is getting the active treatment and who is getting a placebo pill. The idea behind this is simple: knowledge of …

The Guardian’s Science Weekly podcast and the Cochrane review

Yesterday, the Guardian’s Science Weekly podcast published an update of its episode titled: “What role should the public play in science?” [1] For those who might have missed it, the episode revolved around a Cochrane review on exercise therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). [2] A Reuter’s news article had announced that a withdrawal of …

The Cochrane correspondence

The Cochrane review on exercise therapy for patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome has been the subject of ongoing controversy. In October 2018, a Reuters news article suggested that Cochrane would temporarily withdraw the review due to pressure and complaints from online activists. Publicly released correspondence between Cochrane’s former Editor in Chief and senior employees …

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