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Graded Exercise Therapy guided SElf-help Treatment (GETSET) for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis: a randomised controlled trial in secondary care

Portfolio Eligibility
Automatically eligible
ISRCTN 22975026
MREC N° 11/LO/1572
UKCRN ID 12053
Research Summary
Chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) is a chronic disabling condition of no known cause and with no established cure. It affects about one in a hundred people. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines on the management of CFS/ME recommend graded exercise therapy (GET) as one of only two treatments for which there is research evidence of benefit. In contrast most ME charities believe that GET can be harmful, and they do not recommend it. This study will test the acceptability, effectiveness, costeffectiveness and safety of Graded Exercise Therapy guided SElf-help Treatment (GETSET) for patients with CFS/ME on treatment waiting lists at hospital clinics. GETSET has been designed to incorporate the best elements of GET provided by current and previous research trials, paying particular attention to safety and acceptability. Patients will be randomly allocated to one of two trial arms. In the first, participants will be sent a copy of a GET self-help guide and asked to follow it as described in a booklet. Patients will follow the six steps described in the GETSET booklet that will inform them how to use graded exercise or physical activity to feel less tired and reduce disability in a safe way. They will be given individual guidance either face-to-face or by telephone/Skype soon after being randomised and another 3 times in the following 8 weeks, by a physiotherapist experienced in treating people with CFS/ME, on how to use and implement GETSET. Those who feel the need may contact the physiotherapist thereafter. The second trial arm will continue to receive standard medical care (SMC) from their specialist doctor. We will ask people to rate their own health and disability at the end of the treatment period and also measure how much consequent treatment they receive afterwards, to see if those who had the GETSET need less face-to-face treatment.
Study Type Interventional
Design Type Not specified, Treatment
Disease(s) All Health services and delivery research
Phase N/A
Current Status Closed - in follow-up
Closure Date 12/31/2014
Global Sample Size 218
Global Recruitment to Date
Geographical Scope UK Multi-Centre
Lead Country England
Main Inclusion Criteria
Patients attending two CFS/ME specialist clinics in London and receiving a diagnosis of CFS/ME from a specialist doctor, and going onto a waiting list for clinic treatment. Patients must be 18 years or over, speak and read English adequately to provide informed consent and read the guided support booklet.
Main Exclusion Criteria
Not receiving a diagnosis of CFS/ME. Having a comorbid
condition that requires exercise to be performed only in the
presence of a doctor. Being under the age of 18. Having active suicidal thoughts.
Chief Investigator(s)
Prof PD White
Further details, please contact
Dr Lucy Clark

Barts and The London NHS Trust

St. Bartholomews Hospital
West Smithfield

Tel: 020 3465 5698
Prof PD White

Barts and The London NHS Trust
Centre for Psychiatry
Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry

Tel: 020 3465 5696
Funder(s) NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB)
Sponsor(s) Queen Mary University of London
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