Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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2005: M E Jan Wise wrongly (Chairman of the BMA's Medico- Legal Committee) makes false claim

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by Esther12, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    [edit: the garbled title is because I couldn't fit what I wanted in!]

    Minor thing, but I may as well post it up in case it's of interest.

    The ' Effort testing in patients with fibromyalgia and disability incentives' is available here:

    Nothing about Chronic Fatigue patients in there.

    They tested those with FMS and arthritis using two techniques to identify symptom exaggeration, and found:

    They also found this, they made little of it:

    I think that sentence was the only mention in the paper of them having tested those with head injury too.

    So 37.5% of those reporting a history of head injury got results taken to indicate symptom exaggeration, even though the cut-offs for the test were based upon the mean-3sd for moderate-severe brain injury patients:

    It sounded like the testing could take a long time, and I wonder if problems with endurance could have led to some patients giving up, and just putting in random answers to get it over with - they did say:

    Pain for the patients seeking disability and not:

    Symptom exaggeration seems like a really difficult thing to study honestly, but this paper doesn't seem to do a great job. Jan Wise is also pimping himself out on websites for 'expert witnesses' as an expert in MUS/CFS. (eg: )

    I'm not going to really dig into this, but it seemed potentially dodgy, so I thought I'd post up my initial thoughts, in case it's of interest to anyone else in the future.

    PS: That FMS paper has been cited 115 times.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
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  2. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

    South Australia
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  3. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    I suspect that researchers could have lot of input into their results for effort testing, and sympathetic/hostile researchers could probably get the results that they wanted.

    That Gervais et al. ended up with more of their control group indicating symptom exaggeration than the disparaged FMS patients going through a disability claim indicated that something was odd.

    re effort stuff: it wouldn't really surprise me if a desire to get symptoms taken seriously did lead to those with diagnoses that commonly lead to them being mistreated trying to exaggerate their difficulties, and going through a disability benefit system which classes people as 'fit to work' even when they are not certainly creates a reasonable justification for exaggeration too. At the same time though, I did a few tests which required me to work at something, and I've noticed that I still have a weird natural desire to want to do what the doctor tells me, even when it leaves me feeling knackered.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
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  4. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

    It could also be a natural effect of trying to communicate something, when they just don't get it. So the patients try to think of alternative ways to explain it until that light switches on.

    Unfortunately, it's a rather low-wattage bulb, if it's even screwed in at all :p

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