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December 26, 2001

Measuring the Quality of Trials of Treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;286(24):3078-3079. doi:10.1001/jama.286.24.3075

To the Editor: In their systematic review of interventions for chronic fatigue syndrome, Ms Whiting and colleagues1 gave my research2 a low validity score. It was rated as "poor" in 5 categories: baseline comparability of groups, follow-up, dropouts, appropriateness of controls, and control for confounding. However, several trials assessing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which used the same test to control for confounding, had higher dropout rates, and marked differences in baseline scores, were rated as "good." Whiting et al also failed to acknowledge measures in my study that assessed fatigue, disability, and activity. These should have been listed under physical outcomes but Table 2 only refers to the psychological variables and quality of life/health status.

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