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'Potentially Harmful And Old-Fashioned' Chronic Fatigue Treatments Under Review

Friday 20 July 2018


From the ABC:


Jamie Drake
PHOTO: Jamie Drake lives with her parents
as she needs full-time support.
(ABC News)

'Potentially harmful and old-fashioned' chronic fatigue treatments under review

By Andy Park
Wednesday 18 July 2018
© 2018 ABC

Treatment recommended to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) patients can be potentially harmful and is old-fashioned, according to a patient group who are asking a new government advisory committee to research potential cures, not counselling or exercise relief.

The predominant treatment for many of Australia's 200,000 sufferers of CFS — now called ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) — has been a combination of graded exercise therapy (GET) and psychotherapy (CBT).

Professor Andrew Lloyd from UNSW's Fatigue Clinic is a physician who recommends this treatment and he maintains it is "somewhat helpful" but concedes the treatment "doesn't help everybody".

"In general it helps most. In my experience it's very rarely harmful, if it's sensibly applied," Dr Lloyd told 7.30.

But medical ethicist Dr Heidi Nicholl, CEO of the Emerge ME/CFS patient group, said the treatment was "potentially harmful and old-fashioned".



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