The PACE trial of treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome: a response to WILSHIRE et al.
Sharpe M., Goldsmith K., Chalder T.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is chronic disabling illness characterized by severe disabling fatigue, typically made worse by exertion. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is thought by some to be the same disorder (then referred to as CFS/ME) and by others to be different. There is an urgent need to find effective treatments for CFS. The UK Medical Research Council PACE trial published in 2011 compared available treatments and concluded that when added to specialist medical care, cognitive behaviour therapy and graded exercise therapy were more effective in improving both fatigue and physical function in participants with CFS, than both adaptive pacing therapy and specialised medical care alone. In this paper, we respond to the methodological criticisms of the trial and a reanalysis of the trial data reported by Wilshire at al. We conclude that neither the criticisms nor the reanalysis offer any convincing reason to change the conclusions of the PACE trial.