Forward-ME Group Statement on interim use of Graded Exercise Therapy (GET)

The Forward-ME Group (of which ME Research UK is a member) has issued a statement on the continued use of GET for those diagnosed with ME/CFS.

The new NICE guideline (due to come into force in April 2021) will, as long as key recommendations are not altered, no longer offer GET as a ‘treatment’ for ME/CFS but the current guideline is still in ofrce and GET can be offered to people with ME/CFS. Yet NICE currently does not recommend GET for those with long-COVID who exhibit parallel symptoms with those affected by ME/CFS.

The Group calls on the NHS to follow the Health Department in Scotland which recently cautioned against graded exercise therapy being offered as a ‘treatment’

The validity, applicability and certainty of positive findings around the effectiveness and safety of graded exercise therapy (GET) for symptom management in people with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis(CFS/ME) are extensively debated.
Patient experience surveys indicate that over half of respondents find the intervention ineffective or detrimental.
A Cochrane systematic review and a NICE Guideline are currently being revised and updated and caution should be noted on the use of GET for CFS/ME until the updates are published.
No published evidence on the use of GET for people experiencing persisting fatigue following COVID-19 was identified.
NICE has made a statement cautioning against assuming CFS/ME recommendations apply to this patient group.

Graded exercise therapy (GET) as a treatment for people with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis(CFS/ME) 4th August 2020

Forward-ME’s statement, including excepts from the current NICE guideline can be read in full on Forward-ME’s new website

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