Part funding of the PACE trial by the DWP

D. Benyon made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

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Dear Department for Work and Pensions,
Please could you explain why this department was involved in part funding the recent PACE trial into the use of CBT & GET on ME/CFS sufferers?
How many other studies, with regard to particular illness' has the DWP been involved in with funding prior to this?
If this is the first study that the DWP has helped to fund, why this trial?
Has the DWP a particular agenda with regard to ME/CFS such as disregarding the WHO classification of it being a NEUROLOGICAL disease?

Yours faithfully,

D.Benyon

DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

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D. Benyon left an annotation ()

I thought I would ask the questions. I will let you know the answers.

D. Benyon left an annotation ()

Recieved automated acknowlegement from DWP

DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

Dear D Benyon

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 2 March
2011. You asked:

'Dear Department for Work and Pensions,
Please could you explain why this department was involved in part
funding the recent PACE trial into the use of CBT & GET on ME/CFS
sufferers?
How many other studies, with regard to particular illness' has the
DWP been involved in with funding prior to this?
If this is the first study that the DWP has helped to fund, why
this trial?
Has the DWP a particular agenda with regard to ME/CFS such as
disregarding the WHO classification of it being a NEUROLOGICAL
disease?'

I have answered each of your questions in turn:

Please could you explain why this department was involved in part
funding the recent PACE trial into the use of CBT & GET on ME/CFS
sufferers?
If this is the first study that the DWP has helped to fund, why
this trial?
The funding was agreed by a previous Departmental Chief Medical Adviser,
who supported PACE due to his combined expertise and academic interest
in this area of work. In his role as Chief Medical Adviser he felt it
reasonable to support this trial, particularly as when the trial was
initially being developed, consideration was given to exploring the use
of a five point measure of work and social adjustment, which would look
at employment and social outcomes for people taking part in the trial.
Additionally, one of the secondary measures considered as part of the
trial, was the impact that the trial would have on ability for
employment and study.
We believe that the findings of the trial will contribute to the
continuingly growing evidence base, which informs the development of
health and work related policy, policy based on the large body of
evidence showing that work is good for physical and mental wellbeing and
that being out of work can lead to poor health and other negative
outcomes.

How many other studies, with regard to particular illness' has the
DWP been involved in with funding prior to this?
We are not aware of any earlier or subsequent similar trials that have
been funded by the Department.
Has the DWP a particular agenda with regard to ME/CFS such as
disregarding the WHO classification of it being a NEUROLOGICAL
disease?

The Department fully recognises that ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
has a wide spectrum of symptoms and can be a severely debilitating
condition.
If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the
reference number above.
Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

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D. Benyon left an annotation ()

Interesting reply. From this I am able to come to the following conclusions.

The DWP part funded this trial about ME/CFS in the hope it would provide information that would help the DWP in helping sufferers back to work!

The DWP has NEVER part or wholly funded ANY medical trials before this!

WHO neurological classification is neatly side stepped by some general platitude about the illness.

The answers therefore serve to prove that the DWP DOE'S HAVE it's own hidden agenda on ME/CFS and is targeting the illness in a way that no other illness or disability has been targeted before!

Case proven?

TP Kindlon left an annotation ()

The results of the trial were published in the following paper:
White PD, Goldsmith KA, Johnson AL, Potts L, Walwyn R, DeCesare JC, Baber HL, Burgess M, Clark LV, Cox DL, Bavinton J, Angus BJ, Murphy G, Murphy M, O'Dowd H, Wilks D, McCrone P, Chalder T, Sharpe M; PACE trial management group. Comparison of adaptive pacing therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, graded exercise therapy, and specialist medical care for chronic fatigue syndrome (PACE): a randomised trial.
Lancet. 2011 Mar 5;377(9768):823-36. Epub 2011 Feb 18.

The reply from the DWP mentions,
"Additionally, one of the secondary measures considered as part of the trial, was the impact that the trial would have on ability for employment and study."

This is presumably secondary outcome measure #11
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http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2377/7/6

Secondary outcome measures - Secondary efficacy measures

[..]

11. The Client Service Receipt Inventory (CSRI), adapted for use in CFS/ME [31], will measure hours of employment/study, wages and benefits received, allowing another more objective measure of function
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This information was not included in the paper in the Lancet (or the Web Appendix which gave some extra information).

D. Benyon left an annotation ()

Thanks for the information. Strange isn't it, how the secondary purpose is hidden?
I find it abhorant that any group of disabled and sick people can be targeted and persecuted by a system that was designed to help them live as normal a life as possible.
I wonder if there would be a public outcry if MS sufferers or people with Parkinson's disease were victimised and stigmatised in a similar fashion by the DWP?
Disability discrimination is happening here I believe.