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Interesting letter and response in the UK's Telegraph re CBT for CFS

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Bob, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. Bob

    Bob

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    This is a very interesting letter and response in the UK's Daily Telegraph re CBT for CFS/ME.
    (The Daily Telegraph is one of the UK's most popular national 'broadsheet' dailies.)

    I think the letter is particularly well constructed and argued, with regards to prescribing CBT for CFS/ME.
    And I was surprised by the response.


    Dr Le Fanu's online health clinic, Friday 1st August 2014
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/1...ine-health-clinic-Friday-1st-August-2014.html


    Then he continues with the details...

    I am not aware of any of the facts surrounding the issues raised with respect to the Patients Association and Dr Hammond. I'm simply reposting the information that I found in the Telegraph.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
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  2. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    I had not been sure about Hammond's beliefs about ME, although I knew he (had?) worked in clinics that provided CBT.

    It would be interesting if he could clarify his view once and for all.

    If he really does support CBT (and GET), then I will have completely gone off him. I have found his comedy amusing, but will not bother watching or listening to him again if he takes this stance.

    Someone in his position has the power to make a positive difference, and it's about time he did.

    Thanks for the notification, @Bob.
     
  3. Bob

    Bob

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    You're welcome. I've not actually ever heard of Dr Hammond, except in this article.
     
  4. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    It's ironic really, as he is very keen on patient empowerment and whistleblowing and openness about medical errors:

    http://medicalharm.org/about-us/
     
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  5. Wildcat

    Wildcat Senior Member

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    Dr Philip Hammond:

    "I trained as a GP and worked as one for 20 years before retraining as an associate specialist in the young people's specialist Chronic Fatigue/ME service at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases NHS Fountation trust in Bath (the Mineral Hopsital). We work as a team of doctors, psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, support staff and managers under the leadership of Dr Esther Crawley."......

    https://www.iwantgreatcare.org/doctors/dr-philip-hammond

    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
  6. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Senior Member

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    Once again, personal ambition and financial gain trump reasonable and responsible action/care.
    Or maybe he just goes with the flow and never gave it an itty bitty little thought.
    When did integrity get it's butt kicked out the door with a don't ever return notice.
    The man has made a nice living off of ME while we remain the living dead.
    Shame.

    Thanks for posting this @Bob. I am so past caring what his excuse might be. And I'm needing the opportunity to vent.
    My first response on waking every morning at present is an overwhelming sense of dread that I'm still here and nothing's changed.
    Or it has changed. . .and not for the better.

    But so glad we could accommodate him by being ill so that he has a venue for his comedy routine.
    I dare him to come here and personally help me with my attitude adjustment.

    I appologise for the rant. I feel like I'm looking out over the abyss while Dr. Dolittle here does a song and dance for the occasion.
     
  7. Wildcat

    Wildcat Senior Member

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    'Dr Doolittle' Phil Hammond has joined forces with Dr Esther Crawley.

    So we can only expect him to Do Little.
    .
     
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  8. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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  9. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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  10. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    :(:(:(:(:(:(:bang-head::bang-head::bang-head::bang-head::bang-head::bang-head::aghhh::aghhh::aghhh::aghhh::aghhh::aghhh: to all this.

    Arise, Sir Phil...?

    (PLEASE, NO!!!)

    It will be Dr Phil Off-switch for me from now on.
     
  11. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Have just been reading details of the affair in more detail, and can't find anything that says directly that the Patients Association supports any sides re ME treatment. All I can find is the views and activities of Hammond and the fact that he is their Vice-President.

    I can't find anything to support John Peters's claim that "In steps the Patients Association and, to the disbelief of people with ME, it sides with the proponents of CBT, with Dr Hammond."

    Does the fact that someone is one's Vice-President mean that an organisation supports all their beliefs and activities?

    I know that there have been/are problems with certain heads of organisations like Action for ME, but these have been largely due to influence on the policies and articles of the organisation.

    Can anyone else find any statements, articles, etc., by the PA that illustrate their support for psychology-based treatment for ME? (I searched their site briefly using various ME-related terms but found nothing relevant.)
     
  12. Roy S

    Roy S former DC ME/CFS lobbyist

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    JohntheJack likes this.
  13. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    @Esther12 posted that, and I've read it, but thanks.
     
  14. JohntheJack

    JohntheJack

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    Thanks, Bob for posting about this and for your words of support.

    It seems to me that there are two ways to effect change. One way is through research. The other way is political.
    We know ME is a physical illness. We know the evidence supports us. We know there is no evidence to support the 'psychological element' and the use of CBT (and GET).
    We need to make ourselves heard. We need to force (through argument) the decision-makers to do what is right.
    Few can do anything about the research. We have to leave that to others more qualified.
    All of us can help drive political change.

    I hope all those who agree with me will contact https://twitter.com/PatientsAssoc or contact them here http://www.patients-association.com/ and (politely, of course) make sure they know what you think.

    This is an organization which claims to speak for patients. We are patients.
     
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  15. JohntheJack

    JohntheJack

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    I emailed the PA (footnote 16 at that link from Roy and Esther). They brushed me off.
    Are you happy for an organization which claims to represent you to have as one of its V-Ps a man who supports CBT for ME? I am not.
    Did I look to engineer a bit of a row? Maybe. Did I sensationalize things a little bit in that line you quote? Maybe.
    I make no apologies. They had plenty of opportunities to disassociate themselves from Hammond's view on CBT and from CBT for ME generally. They didn't.

    This issue is black and white. It permits no greys. ME either does or does not contain a psychological element. CBT either is or is not effective a treatment for ME.
    I know where I stand.
    It's like they used to say in the 60s: you're either part of the solution or part of the problem. The PA is part of the problem unless it stands four-square behind us.
     
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  16. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    I appreciate your raising awareness of this issue.

    I would not dispute that there may be a psychological element to ME, as I am one of those who believes that early and/or chronic psychological stress can damage the HPA axis, along with numerous other things. I know that some people reject this. I am still talking about long-term, quite-likely permanent, physical damage caused by the stress (and/or other factors).

    However, I use analogies such as putting a bullet back in a gun to treat a gunshot wound - psychological treatments for ME are inappropriate and ineffective. Treatments need to be physiologically based, which the vast majority of us agree.

    Back to this specific issue, I wonder whether it would be more appropriate to press the PA to sack Hammond, as his appointment is inconsistent with their aim of serving patients, given that he is part of a monstrous psychological machine causing further damage to a large patient group.

    The PA don't seem to hold views on specific health conditions. I would of course be very interested to hear if anyone can press them successfully for a comment on CBT/GET.
     
  17. JohntheJack

    JohntheJack

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    Thank you.

    We'll have to agree to disagree on the 'psychological element'. I know there was and has been no psychological element to my illness.

    I'd be quite happy for them to remove Hammond as a V-P.

    I'm not asking for them to take sides over CBT. I just want them to follow the evidence.
     
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  18. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Yes - I wouldn't claim that all sufferers have a psychological factor contributing to the development of their illness - just that there seem to be sound scientific reasons why it may happen in some cases, as a result of chronic HPA activation/chronically-raised cortisol levels, due to stress, which the body cannot sustain indefinitely.

    But we ALL need physiological treatment, IMO, and must NOT be encouraged to exert ourselves.
     
  19. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I think that it's easy to get caught up in problems with language when talking about psychological/physical illnesses/components. Regardless of those matters, and even if the sole cause of someone's illness were cognitive, patients still deserve to be spoken to honestly, fully and frankly.

    The spinning of results from Pace is immoral, and does rob patients of the ability to make their own informed decisions about their health care. That Hammond works for Crawley, presumably providing CBT/get to CFS patients, without having called for the release of the trial's protocol defined outcome measures or criticised how results were spun does reflect poorly upon him IMO. The Crawley paper which claimed pace showed a 30-40% recovery rate for CBT/get is an indefensible example of this spin.

    PS - hi to johnthejack, welcome to the forum, and thanks for drawing people's attention to this.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
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  20. JohntheJack

    JohntheJack

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    Thanks, Esther.

    I was provided with a PDF of this today which I think is interesting.
    http://medicine.stonybrookmedicine.edu/psychiatry/news/friedberg_commentary
     

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