Dr J Greensmith’s response to This is Bristol article

Dr John Greensmith has submitted the following response to Bristol Evening Post Letters

The online version of the article can be read on the “This is Bristol” site and can also be read here:


In response to:



Veteran M.E. (*Myalgic Encephalomyelitis*) sufferers, including this Research Psychologist, diagnosed 20 years ago, have been warning for years that well-intentioned advice to exercise has left them feeling worse, some irrecoverably so, in a wheelchair or bed bound, from which they never regain their previous levels. Recent research, some since the NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) guidelines of August 2007, which recommend Graded Exercise Treatment (GET), have confirmed it.

The principal finding of a survey, by Action for ME (AfME) and The Association of Young People with M.E. (AYME), published this M.E. Awareness Week, is that 34% felt worse after Graded Exercise Treatment, just as teenage sufferer Helen Wood has experienced (Treatment is making teenager’s ME worse, Bristol Evening Post, 16 May 2008). It may turn out that this percentage is quite an underestimate but even one-third is a cause for concern about its future.

Astonishingly, Action for ME’s response is to call for greater investment in it and even more therapists.

Every other national M.E. charity has issued a statement, voicing some degree of opposition to GET.

ME Free For All. org is appealing for the treatments, recommended by the NICE guidelines, to be suspended, pending biomedical research into the physical cause of M.E. which should, in turn, suggest appropriate safe treatment towards cure, since no treatment is better than one (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) which has no lasting benefit, without relapse, or one (Graded Exercise Treatment) that makes people with M.E. worse. How much more evidence – and human suffering – is needed?

Yours sincerely
Dr John H Greensmith
ME Free For All. org


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