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Protecting consumers from misleading “mind over cancer” info from “peer-reviewed” journals - J Coyne


Senior Member
There is no specific mention of ME/CFS in this piece I'm linking to.
'Protecting consumers from misleading “mind over cancer” info from “peer-reviewed” journals'
(September 10, 2013)
"renegade" psychologist James C. Coyne

I think I may have posted before one or two of articles by James C. Coyne criticising claims that psychological therapies can prolong life.
Anyway, this is a newer article which doesn't have its own thread on PR.

I thought this was an interesting critique (I read it without following the links - it would have been quite long to read all the links I think). It doesn't go into the specific issues with the claims (except in the links) although does talk about issues like citation bias where papers that criticise what is said aren't quoted.

He talks about it being "woo science".
He re-quotes this which he previously said in an earlier blog:
What a wonderful world it would be if, when confronted with a diagnosis of cancer, patients could mobilize their immune system and extend their survival time by merely eating the right foods, practicing yoga and relaxation exercises, and venting their emotions in support groups. The idea that patients can exert control over their cancer with such steps is deeply entrenched in psychosomatic medicine and the imagination of the lay public, and evidence to the contrary has been sometimes bitterly resisted. Of course, cancer patients can use psychological techniques to relieve stress, or go to support groups for emotional relief and validation for their experiences and thereby improve the quality, if not the quantity of life. But the prospect of being able to improve the quality of life has always paled by comparison to the promise of being able actually to extend it.

He talks about how the patient can be misled as well as they and their families thinking it's the patient's fault if they don't get better/they die.

I think similar points could be made about the claims of recovery with regard to CBT and GET in ME/CFS (I'm not saying these therapies can't help anybody; but leading to recovery is a much different claim).