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Dr David Tuller: My Letter to Red Whale/GP Update


Senior Member

Trial By Error: My Letter to Red Whale/GP Update
22 AUGUST 2018
By David Tuller, DrPH

Earlier today I sent the following letter to the e-mail address I found at the website of Red Whale/GP Update, which recently disseminated a recruitment ad for FITNET-NHS. I blogged about it on Monday. I cc’d officials at the Health Research Authority, the agency that regulate research ethics.


Dear Red Whale/GP-Update–

I am a senior fellow in public health and journalism at the Center for Global Public Health at UC Berkeley, with an interest in research into the illness currently being called ME/CFS (or often CFS/ME).

Your organization recently disseminated a recruitment ad for FITNET-NHS, a clinical trial of online CBT for children. The recruitment ad promoted the intervention as “effective” for this illness, without equivocation. The recruitment ad also touted the intervention’s high rates of “recovery,” based on purportedly “impressive” results from an earlier Dutch study.

I posted a blog about this recruitment ad here:

Trial By Error: FITNET-NHS Recruitment Ad Promotes “Recovery”