Systematic reviews have 2 aims. The first is to produce an unbiased,
detailed, and comprehensive synthesis of a particular subject. The second
is to permit the emergence of consensus, informing but not mandating clinicians
as to which interventions work for which patients. In this issue of THE JOURNAL,
Whiting and colleagues1 report a major systematic
qualitative review of the interventions used for treatment of chronic fatigue
syndrome (CFS). The results highlight the strengths of the systematic approach,
the weakness of the CFS evidence base, and the destructive ideological fault
lines that continue to divide the field, to the benefit of no one.
Wessely S. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome—Trials and Tribulations. JAMA. 2001;286(11):1378–1379. doi:10.1001/jama.286.11.1378
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