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Exploratory study into the relationship between the symptoms of CFS/ME and fibromyalgia using a quasiexperimental design, 2021, McKay et al

Discussion in 'PsychoSocial ME/CFS Research' started by John Mac, Feb 2, 2021.

  1. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Full title: Exploratory study into the relationship between the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)/myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and fibromyalgia (FM) using a quasiexperimental design

    https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/11/2/e041947
     
    Simone, Hutan, Michelle and 3 others like this.
  2. cassava7

    cassava7 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    They didn't look at post-exertional malaise, the term doesn't appear once in the text. They didn't separate participants into ME only, FM only, or ME/CFS and FM.

    Why they're omitting PEM and still using the Fukuda criteria when the CDC has moved on to the IOM criteria is beyond my understanding.

    They should have used the DePaul questionnaire instead of the CDC's CFS symptom inventory, too.

    Are they doing this on purpose to confirm their hypothesis, and maybe justify that care pathways for ME/CFS and FM can be merged? That's the only reason I can think of.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2021
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  3. cassava7

    cassava7 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @dave30th This isn't psychosocial research but a short letter to the editor could easily debunk their claims.
     
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  4. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    Am I missing something here? Is this the most idiotic piece of research yet?

    Take two conditions with some overlap in symptoms, and some differences.
    Ignore the differences and only give both groups questionnaires about the symptoms they have in common.
    Analyse the results and conclude they are the same.

    So that's like: let's ask a group of giraffes and a group of mice to fill in questionnaires about whether they have hairy bodies, 4 legs and give birth to live offspring. Oh, magically they both come out the same. Conclusion: giraffes are the same as mice.
     
  5. Creekside

    Creekside Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I think "quasiexperimental" means "We'll start with the results we want and make up the experiment to provide them." :rolleyes:
     
  6. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yes, but how do they rate on magazine questionnaires about which Beatles they are? Is it more significant than rating which K-pop band they are more alike? Or what their zodiac sign says about their career prospects. Results will shock you!

    This practice of using arbitrary questionnaires of no relevance and deciding that those questionnaires are now the judge and jury of millions of people's is quite literally criminally insane. The questionnaires are fully generic, they have no applicability here.
     
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  7. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    https://www.etymonline.com/word/quasi-

    word-forming element used since 18c. (but most productively in 20c.) and typically meaning "kind of, resembling, like but not really, as if;" from Latin quasi "as if, as it were," from PIE root *kwo-, stem of relative and interrogative pronouns

    So their quasi experimental design yielded quasi experimental results.

    Kudos. Brilliant. As if.
     
  8. alktipping

    alktipping Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    they even point out the flaw of using arbitary questionnaires funny world when you can publish this whilst pointing towards your own failings .
     
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  9. Milo

    Milo Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Quasi-experimental means that they control all variable, perhaps except whether the practicing physician who diagnoses knows the difference between ME and FM and are able to determine whether the patient has one or the other, or both.
     
  10. Mithriel

    Mithriel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Especially nowadays when the tests for fibro have become so loose they are almost meaningless. (Doctors complained about it at the time.)

    More and more we see CFS and fibromyalgia treated as the symptoms of fatigue and widespread pain respectively.
     
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  11. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    No, that's the wrong joke. It's two in the front and two in the boot, at least if I remember rightly.
     
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  12. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    In all other professions, and I know this for a fact is very prominent in the software industry, when something doesn't work we just go ahead and fix it instead of whining about it endlessly. Hell, in the software industry it's even common to do it for free! People just straight up take it for themselves to write a solution to the problem and simply shares it, source and all, with the whole world. And not just small problems, some become huge projects in their own right, sometimes worked on and maintained for years, all for free!

    Not sure why medicine is different but they really should try that some day. I've never seen a profession so whiny about things directly under their control yet completely unwilling to do anything about it other than complaining some more.
     
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  13. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    All this suggests is the lack of specificity of the questionnaires and associated questionnaire answering behaviour in demarcating the conditions. The fallibility of the questionnaires has been regularly pointed out by patients, but it seems these researchers have not heard the message.
     
  14. Michiel Tack

    Michiel Tack Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I accidentally posted this in the wrong thread (here) but it was a comment on this study:

    The authors conclude:
    99.1% of fibromyalgia patients said they had 'fatigue after exertion' but I don't think more stringent measures of PEM were used.

    It also seems that participants did not undergo an extensive medical examination but simply had to mention that "they had a confirmed diagnosis of CFS/ME or FM by a GP or specialist". It is not clear if this was checked to be correct. One of the main differences between CFS and FM is that the former used more stringent exclusion criteria.
     

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