The ME Association and the Daily Telegraph have settled their differences about the paper’s coverage of the latest PACE Trial follow-up paper on October 28 – with both sides agreeing that stories that appeared that day contained inaccuracies that were not supported by the evidence.
In an agreement reached yesterday through the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), the newspaper agreed to:
* Publish an online correction and an explanation of the ME Association’s position on cognitive behaviour therapy, graded exercise and pacing. This has now been done and can be read HERE.
* Publish a correction and explanation of the MEA’s position in the print edition of the Daily Telegraph next week. This will appear in their usual ‘Corrections and clarifications’ column on page 2 – something they have been unable to do so far because of their huge coverage of the Paris terrorist attacks.
* Talk to the ME Association about the controversies surrounding CBT, GET and Pacing
* Invite our medical adviser, Dr Charles Shepherd, to write a follow-up article on the PACE Trial and ME/CFS – an offer he will certainly take up.
IPSO will also publish the official record of this complaint resolution in their archive.
Dr Charles Shepherd commented: “The Daily Telegraph and IPSO were both quick to respond to our complaint after we were approached by scores of people who had been deeply offended by the paper’s coverage on October 28. As far as we are concerned, the matter is now closed.”
The online published clarification reads:
CLARIFICATION: This article originally stated that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME) is not actually a chronic illness. In fact, the University of Oxford study reported that Graded Exercise Therapy (GET) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can alleviate symptoms of the condition but did not say that it was not chronic. We are happy to make this clear, and the article has been amended. The ME Association opposes GET on the basis that it can exacerbate symptoms, and says that the use of CBT as a primary treatment strategy is based on the flawed belief that ME/CFS is a psychological problem.
The MEA has also submitted a detailed ‘intended for publication’ letter to Lancet Psychiatry outlining our concerns with the PACE Trial and drawing attention to patient evidence, on acceptability, efficacy and safety of CBT, GET and pacing as contained in our latest report ‘No decisions about me – without me’.
We are not publishing this letter for now because we believe this would prejudice its chances of publication in the journal. But we will publish the MEA letter when it does appear, or if we are told that it has not been accepted for publication.