Cognitive behavioural therapy and graded exercise therapy are promoted as evidence-based treatments for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. This article explores patients' symptom responses following these treatments versus pacing therapy, an approach favoured by many sufferers. We analyse data from a large cross-sectional patient survey (n = 1428) and compare our findings with those from comparable patient surveys (n = 16,665), using a mix of descriptive statistics and regression analysis modelling. Findings from analysis of primary and secondary surveys suggest that cognitive behavioural therapy is of benefit to a small percentage of patients (8%-35%), graded exercise therapy brings about large negative responses in patients (54%-74%), while pacing is the most favoured treatment with the lowest negative response rate and the highest reported benefit (44%-82%).
Keywords: chronic fatigue syndrome; cognitive behavioural therapy; graded exercise therapy; patient satisfaction; treatment.