Some of you, reading the article in the Handbook I wrote on CFS/ME & Cpn, know that I'm not a fan of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue/ME. I believe that what originally began as trying to provide better coping tools has been coopted by the medical establishment's tendency to blame the victims of disease for their own disease when medicine is impotent in helping these serious disorders. So, on seeing Dr. Teitelbaum's report of a study in the Netherlands exposing the harm created by CBT for CFS/ME patients, I had to bring it to our readers attention. Below Dr. Teitelbaum's summary and the link to his excerpt from the research report translated from the Dutch.
Majority of ME/CFS Patients Negatively Affected by Cognitive Behaviour Therapy?
A recent pilot study (Koolhaas, et al., 2008, Netherlands) reports that only 2% of ME/CFS patients are cured by CBT, while the greatest share (38%) are adversely affected—most reporting substantial deterioration. It is especially notable that employment and education are negatively affected. This is in sharp contrast to the claims of psychiatrists and the Dutch Health Council that 70% of patients improve. Previous studies have also ignored or denied the negative effects of CBT on ME/CFS patients. The pilot study, recently published in the Dutch medical magazine, Medisch Contact, concludes that the previously reported claims of 70% improvement in ME/CFS patients receiving CBT are vastly overstated and misleading. The following summary is from page 4 of the Dutch-language study.Cognitieve gedragstherapie bij het chronische vermoeidheidssyndroom (ME/CVS) vanuit het perspectief van de patiënt, Drs. M.P. Koolhaas, H. de Boorder, prof. dr. E. van HoofDate: February 2008ISBN: 978-90-812658-1-2Link to Dr. Teitelbaum's page