Alex Howard Group

Research & Publications

Our Research Department

The Optimum Health Clinic Research Department was established in June 2011. The aim of the department is to develop a high quality evidence base for the OHC approach, and to publish the findings in high impact scientific journals. The goal is that this will be a significant step towards government funding being available for treatment at OHC.

The Optimum Health Clinic Research Department has enjoyed various collaborations, including with The School of Psychology’s Chronic Illness Research Team (CIRT) in the University of East London, and with the University of Surrey.

In 2019, the OHC was granted NHS ethics approval for a randomised controlled trial (RCT) on its approach to working with ME, CFS and Fibromyalgia.

Published Studies

Hunter, R. M., Paxman, J and James, M.

Chronic fatigue syndrome/Myalgic Encaphomyelitis: Counting the cost.

This groundbreaking cost of illness study, steered and funded by The Optimum Health Clinic, investigates the true cost of CFS/ME to the UK.

Arroll, M.A., Attree, E.A., Marshall, C. L., and Dancey, C.P.

Pilot study investigating the utility of a specialized online symptom management program for individuals with myalgic encaphomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome as compared to an online meditation program. Psychology research and behavior management. 2014:7 213-221

A study carried out by Clare Marshall, an MSc student at the University of East London, in conjunction with the Chronic Illness Research Team. This study investigated changes over time in a group undertaking the OHC’s Secrets to Recovery programme vs a control group using an online meditation programme. The study found significant improvements in participants belief they could change their situation and the symptom of sleep after only 8 weeks.

Arroll, M.A.

Allostatic overload in myalgic encaphomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Medical hypothesis. 2013. Volume 31. Issue 3. 506-508.

This study explored the theory behind what the clinic refer to as the Maladaptive Stress Response and some of the key mechanisms behind this.

Arroll, M.A. & Howard, A.

“The letting go, the building up, [and] the gradual process of rebuilding’’: Identity Change and Post-traumatic Growth in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Psychology and Health, 2012, 1-17

This paper explored the impact of ME/CFS on the sufferers sense of self and identity and how this can change.

Arroll, M.A. & Alderman, J.

Nutritional Therapy in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS): A Case Study. Nutrition Practitioner, Spring/Summer 2012.

Our second paper, entitled “Nutritional Therapy in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS): A Case Study,” was published in June 2012. The paper shares a detailed case study of a patient receiving treatment from our nutrition department. It is relatively easy to follow, and is a great example of how the OHC nutrition approach is about a lot more than just food and supplements.

Arroll, M.A., & Howard, A.

A preliminary prospective study of nutritional, psychological and combined therapies for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) in a private care setting

This paper found statically significant improvement in all three research groups, psychology, nutrition and combined at a three month follow up. Published in the British Medical Journal Open it provides a solid justification for a full randomised controlled trial that the OHC research team are currently working on.

Howard, A., & Arroll, M.A.

The Application of Integral Medicine in the Treatment of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Journal of Integral Theory and Practice, 6(4), 25-40.

This was the OHC Research Department’s first paper, and was published in the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice in December 2011. The paper, entitled, “The Application of Integral Medicine in the Treatment of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”, outlines the OHC’s approach within a model of integral medicine which uses Ken Wilber’s “4 Quadrants” model and is an academic version of the article originally published in CAM Magazine in 2009.

Next Up:

About The Optimum Health Clinic

Continue Reading