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Review

Is It Useful to Question the Recovery Behaviour of Patients with ME/CFS or Long COVID?

1
Independent Researcher, 1096 HZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2
Independent Researcher, 49032 Osnabrück, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Raphael B. Stricker
Healthcare 2022, 10(2), 392; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10020392
Received: 27 December 2021 / Revised: 14 February 2022 / Accepted: 16 February 2022 / Published: 18 February 2022
For the last few decades, medical guidelines have recommended treating patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) with graded exercise therapy (GET) and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Moreover, doctors have questioned the recovery behaviour of these patients and stimulated them to follow these treatments so that they would be able to go back to work. In this article, we reviewed trials of GET and CBT for ME/CFS that reported on work status before and after treatment to answer the question of whether doctors should continue to question the recovery behaviour of patients with ME/CFS. Our review shows that more patients are unable to work after treatment than before treatment with CBT and GET. It also highlights the fact that both treatments are unsafe for patients with ME/CFS. Therefore, questioning the recovery behaviour of patients with ME/CFS is pointless. This confirms the conclusion from the British National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which has recently published its updated ME/CFS guideline and concluded that CBT and GET are not effective and do not lead to recovery. Studies on CBT and GET for long COVID have not yet been published. However, this review offers no support for their use in improving the recovery of patients with an ME/CFS-like illness after infection with COVID-19, nor does it lend any support to the practice of questioning the recovery behaviour of these patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: CFS; chronic fatigue syndrome; eminence-based medicine; evidence-based medicine; insurance medicine; long COVID; ME; occupational medicine; post-infectious disease; recovery behaviour CFS; chronic fatigue syndrome; eminence-based medicine; evidence-based medicine; insurance medicine; long COVID; ME; occupational medicine; post-infectious disease; recovery behaviour
MDPI and ACS Style

Vink, M.; Vink-Niese, F. Is It Useful to Question the Recovery Behaviour of Patients with ME/CFS or Long COVID? Healthcare 2022, 10, 392. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10020392

AMA Style

Vink M, Vink-Niese F. Is It Useful to Question the Recovery Behaviour of Patients with ME/CFS or Long COVID? Healthcare. 2022; 10(2):392. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10020392

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vink, Mark, and Friso Vink-Niese. 2022. "Is It Useful to Question the Recovery Behaviour of Patients with ME/CFS or Long COVID?" Healthcare 10, no. 2: 392. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10020392

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