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September 19, 2001

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome—Trials and Tribulations

JAMA. 2001;286(11):1378-1379. doi:10.1001/jama.286.11.1378

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.

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