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IACFS/ME Statement on the PACE Trial, reprinted with permission

[The IACFS/ME is the International Association for CFS/ME—an international association of researchers into ME/CFS]

by Fred Friedberg, PhD
President, IACFS/ME

February 24, 2011

The much publicized UK-based PACE trial (Lancet, Feb. 18th; see full text of article) reported positive outcomes for patients with CFS/ME who were treated with cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) or graded exercise therapy (GET) in comparison to a standard medical care condition or an adaptive pacing condition. The adaptive pacing condition was intended to help patients adjust their activity levels according to their available energy (based on envelope theory).  The findings were similar to previous CBT and GET studies in CFS.  This trial was unique in incorporating a pacing condition and recruiting a very large sample.   That said, we have concerns about how the trial was reported.

We certainly support any effective treatment for CFS/ME, medical or behavioral. Behavioral interventions are helpful for a number of major medical conditions (cardiovascular disease, diabetes).