Dr David Tuller: Stupid Studies


Senior Member

Trial By Error: Stupid Studies
6 MARCH 2019
By David Tuller, DrPH
Boy, it’s hard to keep up with all the stupid studies coming out! But that’s no reason not to take a look at a couple of them.
(In both cases, I’m just making a few comments. Much more could be said about each of these studies. You can read more about them on the Science for ME forum hereand here.)
In December, Frontiers in Psychology published a paper about a four-day “mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral intervention program for CFS/ME” being offered in Norway. The authors of the study, two mental health professionals from Bergen, have tested what seems to be a ratatouille of group therapy, exercise, life-coaching, meditation, stress management, writing exercises and positive thinking—something similar, perhaps, to the Lightning Process, although I don’t know if participants are required to stand inside circles on the ground.
The study will likely be cited, in Norway and elsewhere, as evidence that this four-day program could be effective in reducing fatigue and improving physical function in people with CFS/ME, as the investigators call the illness. Yet the findings are pretty much useless in terms of providing actionable information for developing health policy or clinical recommendations, for a number of reasons.