Dr David Tuller and Prof Brian Hughes publish paper demolishing Wessely et al publication promoting CBT for ME


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Response to Adamson et al. (2020): ‘Cognitive behavioural therapy for chronic fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome: Outcomes from a specialist clinic in the UK’

Brian M Hughes , David Tuller
First Published April 10, 2021 Review Article
Article information


The full paper can be downloaded here.


In a paper published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Adamson et al. (2020) interpret data as showing that cognitive behavioural therapy leads to improvement in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and chronic fatigue. Their research is undermined by several methodological limitations, including: (a) sampling ambiguity; (b) weak measurement; (c) survivor bias; (d) missing data and (e) lack of a control group. Unacknowledged sample attrition renders statements in the published Abstract misleading with regard to points of fact. That the paper was approved by peer reviewers and editors illustrates how non-rigorous editorial processes contribute to systematic publication bias.

Keywords chronic fatigue syndrome, cognitive behaviour therapy, health care systems, methodology, quantitative methods