Anyone had experience with the optimum health clinic UK?

slysaint

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I signed up to this clinic online and have received a load of literature and they regularly send videos and newsletters. Just watched the latest one on 'tired and wired'.
Wondered if anyone else has heard of it/used it?
 

sarah darwins

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I got a bunch of stuff from them in the mail, dvd included. Turned out my mother had requested it for me (she was only trying to help). This was before I joined PR, before I started learning what's behind all the BPS stuff and the history of the psych annexing of me/cfs. But even then, I read through some of the literature and thought "this is ridiculous". I binned it.

Other views are available. And some people do say they get benefit from this kind of thing. But their comments about me/cfs seemed so at odds with my entire experience of illness (which included total denial of being ill for some years and a fiercely positive outlook) that I have no use for it whatsoever.
 

RosieBee

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I regret wasting my very slender resources going to the Optimum Health Clinic. I did speak on the phone with them about my previous experiences and understanding of ways to treat ME to make sure they would not be covering old ground, so I was disappointed to find it was an expensive form of reframing and EFT. Some people who had absolutely no knowledge of these ways of self-help or of nutrition (if they paid for that service) may have learned something new, but for me it was a big waste of money.
 

slysaint

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p.s. I meant to add, if you search PR for "optimum" with "titles only" selected, you get a lot of results:

http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?search/23670176/&q=optimum&o=date&c[title_only]=1

You will find some more positive comments on some of the threads, as I recall.

You pays your money and you takes your choice.
Thank everyone. I did try a search but didn't do the titles only; explains why I couldnt find it.
To be honest I only briefly looked thro their lit., saw the prices ,and left it at that.
I have quite a backlog of their video links sent via email that I havent got around to watching. I can delete them now:)
 

slysaint

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Just got a newsletter from OHC, saying they were one of 10 organisations featured as an example of outstanding practice in the healthcare edition of the 2014/15 Parliamentary review.
They are trying to raise funds to 'develop an evidence base strong enough to make a powerful and irrefutable case for NHS funding for the OHC approach'.
It goes on to say 'As a key step towards this, we have partnered with the University of Surrey to carry out a full clinical trial, the largest of its kind by any ME/CFS clinic in the UK'.
Be interesting to see what the trial entails.
 

Esther12

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Just got a newsletter from OHC, saying they were one of 10 organisations featured as an example of outstanding practice in the healthcare edition of the 2014/15 Parliamentary review.
They are trying to raise funds to 'develop an evidence base strong enough to make a powerful and irrefutable case for NHS funding for the OHC approach'.
It goes on to say 'As a key step towards this, we have partnered with the University of Surrey to carry out a full clinical trial, the largest of its kind by any ME/CFS clinic in the UK'.
Be interesting to see what the trial entails.
It's sad that, by the appalling standards of ME/CFS care in the UK, they might not even be that bad (if cost is irrelevant).

No idea what this is about though: "one of 10 organisations featured as an example of outstanding practice in the healthcare edition of the 2014/15 Parliamentary review"
 

sarah darwins

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It goes on to say 'As a key step towards this, we have partnered with the University of Surrey to carry out a full clinical trial, the largest of its kind by any ME/CFS clinic in the UK'.
Be interesting to see what the trial entails.
and @esther

Oh, lordy. I think I see what that is. From the OHC's website:

"As a follow on to a prospective preliminary study published in the BMJ Open in 2012, the team have recently started a three year collaboration with University of Surrey to complete a randomised controlled trial on the OHC approach."

And I think the 2012 'study' would be this one, authored by Sharpe et al ... http://aura.abdn.ac.uk/bitstream/2164/2813/1/BMJ_Open_2012_Burton_.pdf

Full of guff about MUS (writing about this as though it's a well-established medical term rather than something psychologists made up last week) and 'demonstrating' that you can find an 'improvement' in vaguely defined non-diagnoses grouped together on psychological whim by, um, waiting a while and then running a questionnaire along the lines of "Do you think that helped?", to which most people are too polite to say "no, total waste of time".
 

sarah darwins

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No idea what this is about though: "one of 10 organisations featured as an example of outstanding practice in the healthcare edition of the 2014/15 Parliamentary review"
I don't think it's been published yet, Esther, but this could be extremely bad news. Sounds like they have advance knowledge of what's going in there.

Here's last year's edition as an indicator: http://www.youblisher.com/p/991401-The-Parliamentary-Review-Healthcare-Edition/

So, if they're featured as an "example of outstanding practice" it's a huge feather in their cap.

Looking harder at their website, they've really got this sorted (as a self-sustaining funding and persuasion tool). They're a registered charity, but inextricably linked to certain figures well-known on these pages. They clearly do make a profit but the revenue raised is funnelled directly into "research" of the kind I linked in the previous post.

You can see what an easy sell this is to the politicians. "All the money we make goes into research".

It's a perfect set-up, isn't it. Carry out revenue raising junk 'therapy', funnel the proceeds back into 'research' which starts from the same assumptions as the therapy, trumpet the results as demonstrating the worth of the therapy, then push out more therapy and create more jobs for the boys and girls in the same school of thought.

From their website, it's clear what the OHC want:

The Optimum Health Clinic Research Department was established in June 2011. The aim of the department is to develop a high quality evidence base for the OHC approach, and to publish the findings in high impact scientific journals. The goal is that this will be a significant step towards government funding being available for treatment at OHC.
Considering the involvement and Sharpe and co in validating this stuff, I wonder if we're not paying so much attention to PACE that we're taking our eye off the ball here. Looks to me like the OHC is a sort of siege engine for getting bps ideas about MUS formally integrated into all aspects of the NHS nationwide. And in generating their own, self-fulfilling "research" base, you just know they'll have no trouble selling it to the politicians. If they've already persuaded the Department of Health that they're an example of "outstanding practice", they're most of the way there already.

Where are they heading?

We would love you to work with us on helping provide funds for our ambitious plans
This study is a major step for The Optimum Health Clinic, and our long-term vision of making integrative medicine treatment for ME/CFS available to all.
(from their own website)

Yes, they're aiming to go national and government funded. Oh, goody.
 

Valentijn

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I don't think OHC is a major threat. From what I recall, they get a bit too far into what mainstream practitioners would consider a bit quackish (emphasizing nutrition in disease, etc). There's probably hundreds of clinics like that which include chronic fatigue in the huge list of things which they supposedly cure.

I think staying focused on PACE/QMUL, NICE, NIH/CDC, NHS, etc is a lot more useful, unless someone has a lot of spare time or particular interest in analyzing the OHC crap. OHC is small time quackery, and not aggressive or far-reaching.
 

sarah darwins

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I don't think OHC is a major threat. From what I recall, they get a bit too far into what mainstream practitioners would consider a bit quackish (emphasizing nutrition in disease, etc). There's probably hundreds of clinics like that which include chronic fatigue in the huge list of things which they supposedly cure.

I think staying focused on PACE/QMUL, NICE, NIH/CDC, NHS, etc is a lot more useful, unless someone has a lot of spare time or particular interest in analyzing the OHC crap. OHC is small time quackery, and not aggressive or far-reaching.
I hope you're right. it's just when I see them partnered with the Uni of Surrey and getting validated by studies run by Sharpe etc, I get concerned. And that parliamentary review is a big deal. I'm astonished in if they're actually going to be in it, but stranger things have happened.
 

Sidereal

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I don't think that the Sharpe study is the OHC one.
It's not. It's this one: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23166120

BMJ Open. 2012 Nov 19;2(6). pii: e001079. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001079. Print 2012.
A preliminary prospective study of nutritional, psychological and combined therapies for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) in a private care setting.
Arroll MA1, Howard A.
Author information

Abstract
BACKGROUND:
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a condition characterised by severe and persistent fatigue, neurological disturbances, autonomic and endocrine dysfunctions and sleep difficulties that have a pronounced and significant impact on individuals' lives. Current National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines within the UK suggest that this condition should be treated with cognitive behavioural therapy and/or graded exercise therapy, where appropriate. There is currently a lack of an evidence base concerning alternative techniques that may be beneficial to those with ME/CFS.

OBJECTIVES:
This study aimed to investigate whether three modalities of psychology, nutrition and combined treatment influenced symptom report measures in those with ME/CFS over a 3-month time period and whether there were significant differences in these changes between groups.

DESIGN AND SETTING:
This is a preliminary prospective study with one follow-up point conducted at a private secondary healthcare facility in London, UK.

PARTICIPANTS:
138 individuals (110 females, 79.7%; 42 participants in psychology, 44 in nutrition and 52 in combined) participated at baseline and 72 participants completed the battery of measures at follow-up (52.17% response rate; 14, 27 and 31 participants in each group, respectively).

OUTCOME MEASURES:
Self-reported measures of ME/CFS symptoms, functional ability, multidimensional fatigue and perceived control.

RESULTS:
Baseline comparisons showed those in the combined group had higher levels of fatigue. At follow-up, all groups saw improvements in fatigue, functional ability and symptomatology; those within the psychology group also experienced a shift in perceived control over time.

CONCLUSIONS:
This study provides early evidence that psychological, nutritional and combined techniques for the treatment of ME/CFS may influence symptomatology, fatigue, function and perceived control. However, these results must be viewed with caution as the allocation to groups was not randomised, there was no control group and the study suffered from high drop-out rates.
University of Surrey rings a bell. I think this woman's PhD in health psychology was from that uni. A while ago she was meant to be speaking at some US government ME/CFS thing but a few of us had a look at her PhD here on Phoenix Rising and she disappeared from the list of speakers.
 

sarah darwins

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Just got a newsletter from OHC, saying they were one of 10 organisations featured as an example of outstanding practice in the healthcare edition of the 2014/15 Parliamentary review.
They are trying to raise funds to 'develop an evidence base strong enough to make a powerful and irrefutable case for NHS funding for the OHC approach'.
It goes on to say 'As a key step towards this, we have partnered with the University of Surrey to carry out a full clinical trial, the largest of its kind by any ME/CFS clinic in the UK'.
Be interesting to see what the trial entails.
Turns out the 2014/15 Review has been published: http://www.youblisher.com/p/1217431-TPR-2015-Healthcare/

I'm not going to read the whole thing, but flipping through it I can't se any mention of them. Am I looking at the wrong thing?

slysaint - did their newsletter say any more? Be interesting to see a screenshot of that or something.