ME Association blog post, by Tony Britton, 12 Feb 2017: MEA to pay for open access to independent reanalysis paper 

The ME Association believe that a recent independent re-analysis of the PACE Trial data is such an important document that we have paid the publisher, Taylor & Francis, to open the full paper for all to read.

At the moment, the full text is hidden behind a paywall and all that people can read without paying a subscription is a 213-word abstract.

When the unpublished PACE trial data was re-analysed by Wilshire et al (2017), the authors found that – when recovery was defined according to the original trial protocol – recovery rates in the CBT and GET groups were low and not significantly higher than in the control group (4%, 7% and 3% respectively).

The authors concluded:  “The claim that patients can recover as a result of CBT and GET is not justified by the data, and is highly misleading to clinicians and patients considering these treatments.”

The paper was published in Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health & Behavior, an American publication regarded as the house publication of the International Association of CFS/ME. This organisation holds big biannual conferences in the States.

But, as the publisher only allows free public access to an abstract, the whole paper can only be read for a fee.

MEA medical adviser Dr Charles Shepherd commented: “The MEA believes that this is such an important item of research that we have paid for the whole paper to be made open access.

“This will mean that everyone, health professionals in particular, will now be able to read the very important findings from the re-analysis of the PACE trial recovery data.

“As soon as our contractual arrangement with the publisher is finalised, the full paper will be available to view on the MEA website”.

The MEA has negotiated a reduced fee of $2,000 with Taylor & Francis.

Can patients with chronic fatigue syndrome really recover after graded exercise or cognitive behavioural therapy? A critical commentary and preliminary re-analysis of the PACE trial, by Carolyn Wilshire, Tom Kindlon, Alem Mathees, Simon McGrath in Journal Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health & Behavior Pp 1-14 [Published online: 14 Dec 2016]

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