Dr David Tuller: More on the Dutch CBT Long Covid Trial; Finnish Study of “Amygdala Retraining” Program

Countrygirl

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Trial By Error: More on the Dutch CBT Long Covid Trial; Finnish Study of “Amygdala Retraining” Program
4 February 2022 Leave a Comment

By David Tuller, DrPH
I have written a couple of times about a Dutch trial of internet-delivered cognitive behavior therapy to prevent severe fatigue in long Covid patients. The goal is to address factors like “dysfunctional beliefs about fatigue,” “perceived low social support, “problems with processing the acute phase of COVID-19, and “fears and worries regarding COVID-19″ that are purportedly driving the prolonged symptoms. My posts—here and here–were not favorably disposed toward the research and suggested the design was biased toward producing positive results.
Last month, advocates from three Dutch patient organizations published their own report about the study. The researchers, from the Dutch Knowledge Center for Chronic Fatigue (NKCV), were awarded €308,000 by ZonMw, a major independent health care funding agency. The lead investigator, psychologist Hans Knoop, is a well-known proponent of the CBT/GET treatment paradigm for ME/CFS. In 2011, he and a Dutch colleague wrote a commentary for The Lancet that accompanied the PACE trial and declared that participants had met “a strict criterion of recovery”—a demonstrably untrue statement.
 

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Trial By Error: More on the Dutch CBT Long Covid Trial; Finnish Study of “Amygdala Retraining” Program
4 February 2022 6 Comments

By David Tuller, DrPH

Update: I have sent the following letter to the responsible person listed on the clinical trial registration for the Finnish study of “amygdala and insula retraining”:

Dear Dr Lira–

I am a public health researcher and journalist with the Center for Global Public Health, part of UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health. I frequently comment on research in the field of ME/CFS and related diseases, now including long Covid. Much of this commentary appears on Virology Blog, a popular science site hosted by Professor Vincent Racaniello, Higgins Professor of Microbiology at Columbia University. (I have cc’d Professor Racaniello here.)

I have recently seen the clinical trial registration for “Amygdala and Insula Retraining (AIR) Program and HUS Internet Therapy Compared to Treatment as Usual in Bodily Stress Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Long Covid, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).” Yesterday, I posted a Virology Blog commentary in which I criticized the research on a couple of fronts.
If you would like to send a response to the concerns I have raised, I would be happy to post it on Virology Blog, alongside my critique. If you do so, perhaps you could address these questions:...............