Dr. Breus was hyping the PACE trial as new hope for us in the March issue of Psychology Today. I just saw it and really couldn’t and didn’t want to put much energy into this pretty much un-reserached and irresponsible article. But I did muster the following comment, for what it’s worth:
I am concerned that Psychology Today has given Dr. Breus a platform to disseminate so much misinformation. First of all, the PACE trial was published more than two years ago. Hardly new research. But not only is Dr. Breus behind in the timeline, he also does not seem to know what pretty much all experts on this disease know and will opine, i.e., that the PACE trial is an embarrassing piece of “research” with so many flaws as to render it not only useless, but also dangerous. I won’t go into details here. Everybody in the field who knows just a little bit about the illness is very familiar with those (although Dr. Breus does not seem to be). And the PACE trial is about to be debunked by US scientist who really know what they are doing and who do not have an agenda, unlike the “researchers” in the PACE trial. But Psychology Today should really put better quality-control measures into place. Articles like this one do some real harm to a large and very sick patient population. They call every journal’s credibility into question that enables the perpetuation of false information.
And Dr. Breus, why not write about something you know a little bit about? You have a responsibility here, you know. Recovery is extremely rare in this illness. Most patients who claim to have recovered never had this disease in the first place. And exercise makes most patients sicker, often dramatically and irreversibly so. CBT can be helpful in all chronic illnesses. Nothing special here. Why is a sleep expert–a PhD, not an MD–writing about a very complex neuro-immune disease?