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Trial By Error: Australia's Online GET/CBT Education Program

Wednesday 16 May 2018


From Virology Blog:


David Tuller
David Tuller

Trial By Error: Australia’s Online GET/CBT Education Program

By David Tuller, DrPH
14 May 2018
Content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

Last year, BMJ Open published a paper called “Randomised controlled trial of online continuing education for health professionals to improve the management of chronic fatigue syndrome: a study protocol.” The seven authors, all affiliated with the University of New South Wales in Sydney, included Professor Andrew Lloyd, the infectious disease expert and the country’s leading proponent for the GET/CBT rehabilitative approach to the illness he prefers to call CFS.

Professor Lloyd was the second-to-last author, not the first or senior (and corresponding) author. But the online continuing education program described in the protocol reflects the approach he has pioneered at his Sydney fatigue clinic. This online program is designed for allied health professionals—physiotherapists, exercise physiologists, psychologists, and others outside the domains of medicine. The program promotes graded exercise therapy and cognitive behavior therapy as “evidence-based” treatments for the illness.

The protocol calls for the trial to recruit 180 participants, divided into those who receive the online continuing education program and those who don’t. (Those who don’t will be offered the program afterwards.) Proposed outcomes of the study are how well the participants have absorbed this information and how comfortable they now feel recommending and delivering such treatments in practice. Hm.

Part of the context for this effort to disseminate information about these interventions is that Australian patients find it hard to obtain government and private disability support and payments without having been through a rehabilitative program. Since these two treatments are considered the standard of care in Australia, claimants are expected to have pursued either or both in their efforts to get well. Making such services more widely available would presumably allow more patients to obtain needed benefits–if not having undergone GET or CBT remains an obstacle.


Full article…



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