Student Survey on CBT If you want to take part in this student survey on CBT please use the link on the MEA website home page: http://www.meassociation.org.uk/201...py-as-a-tool-to-manage-mecfs-9-february-2016/ And please read what Pippa has to say before plunging in and criticising what she is doing! Please take part in student survey on use of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy as a tool to manage ME/CFS | 9 February 2016 Pippa Stacey, who is taking a BSc in Psychology in Education at the University of York, has asked us to publicise her survey on the use Cognitive Behaviour Therapy as a tool in the management of ME/CFS. If you would like to take part, please read her request below. Pippa writes: I am looking for participants with ME/CFS to take part in a research questionnaire for my university dissertation. The questionnaire can be accessed on both computer and mobile devices, and should take no longer than 25 minutes to complete. You can also save your responses partway through to return to later, should you need to take a break. The results from this study may be used in future research but your responses will be kept anonymous throughout the study, so that you cannot be identified from your individual answers. The purpose of the study is to examine the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in the management of ME/CFS. The questionnaire aims to investigate the opinions of patients towards CBT, and also how these opinions differ according to factors such as age, location, occupational status and more. If you have had CBT in the past, you will also be invited to share your experiences. Though this research is for a psychology dissertation and focuses on a psychological management approach, the research will in no way imply that ME/CFS is a psychological condition. As an ME/CFS sufferer myself, I aim to critically evaluate the use of CBT and question the way it is delivered in this debilitating physical condition. If you have any concerns or questions about this research prior to completing the questionnaire, please feel free to contact me at PLS504@york.ac.uk. MEA position on CBT - from our 2015 Report on CBT, GET and Pacing: http://www.meassociation.org.uk/how-you-can-help/introduction-to-our-cbt-get-and-pacing-report/ CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) We conclude that CBT in its current delivered form should not be recommended as a primary intervention for people with ME/CFS. CBT courses based on the model that abnormal beliefs and behaviours are responsible for maintaining the illness, have no role to play in the management of ME/CFS and increase the risk of symptoms becoming worse. The belief of some CBT practitioners that ME/CFS is a psychological illness was the main factor which led to less symptoms improving, less courses being appropriate to needs, more symptoms becoming worse and more courses being seen as inappropriate. Our results indicate that graded exercise therapy should form no part of any activity management advice employed in the delivery of CBT, as this also led to a negative impact on outcomes. There is a clear need for better training among practitioners. The data indicates that lack of knowledge and experience had a direct effect on outcomes and remained a key factor, even where courses were held in specialist clinics or elsewhere given by therapists with an ME/CFS specialism. However, our results did indicate that, when used appropriately, the practical coping component of CBT can have a positive effect in helping some patients come to terms with their diagnosis and adapt their lives to best accommodate it. CBT was also seen to have a positive effect in helping some patients deal with comorbid issues – anxiety, depression, stress – which may occur at any time for someone with a long-term disabling illness. An appropriate model of CBT – one that helps patients learn practical coping skills and/or manage co-morbid issues such as those listed above – could be employed, where appropriate, for ME/CFS as it is for other chronic physical illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, heart disease, and arthritis and we recommend all patients should have access to such courses as well as access to follow-up courses and/or consultations as and when required.