Letter: Doubts on ME therapy trial

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The Independent Online
Sir: I am a sufferer and participated in the Oxford trial you highlighted. The article implies that those who have questioned the trial have a hidden agenda (that of not wanting to consider psychological factors involved in the illness) and that a new successful treatment has been found for ME but that sufferers and others do not want to accept it.

There are facts about the trial that throw into doubt how successful it is. It is stated that patients in the control group received standard medical care. I was in that group but I received nothing. Also, patients receiving treatment had to attend weekly hospital visits, thus excluding the most severely affected sufferers. Patients who "improved significantly" only increased their score from 70 to 80 on a scale of general functional ability.

Most sufferers do not deny that there can be a psychological element to this illness. However, there is mounting research showing that ME is a complex neurological disease although Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a broader term which probably encompasses a wider range of disorders.

Catherine Rye

Eynsham, Oxfordshire