Per Fink

From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history

Per Fink is head Professor, MD, PhD, DMSc of The Research Clinic for Functional Disorders and Psychosomatics at Aarhus Universitetshospital in Denmark, which treats people with Bodily Distress Disorder, health anxiety and psychosomatic illness.[1]

ME/CFS[edit | edit source]

His approach to chronic fatigue syndrome is to classify it as a Functional Disorder with medically unexplained physical symptoms rather than a biological physical illness.[2] Fink's treatment approach to ME/CFS is opposed by Danish patient group ME Foreningen.[3]

He co-authored the leaflet Information About Functional Disorders - When the body says stop, published the The Danish Committee for Health Education and issued in co-operation with The Research Clinic for Functional Disorders and Psychosomatics, Aarhus University and the Research Unit for General Practice.[4]

In 2019, the Danish parliament unanimously voted to separate ME/CFS from functional disorders (medically unexplained symptoms), and to treat the disease as a physical neurological illness using the World Health Organization classification rather than as psychosomatic illness, and called upon the department of health to update its information.[3][5]

Media coverage & interviews[edit | edit source]

Notable studies[edit | edit source]

Controversies and criticism[edit | edit source]

Per Fink has applies the biopsychosocial model (BPS) to the organic biological disease myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), using a biopsychosocial approach rather than biomedical treatment. Fink's recommended treatment for ME is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and graded exercise therapy (GET), and he claims most people will be cured or significantly better after treatment.[10]

Karina Hansen's institutionalization[edit | edit source]

Karina Hansen is a Danish woman who became ill with ME as a young adult. An attempt was made to remove Karina from her home in 2012; after this incident, she arranged for her parents to have power of attorney, in case she was declared unfit.[11]

On February 12, 2013, Karina Hansen was removed from her home and taken to Hammel Neurocenter.[12][13] She was 24 years old. Only months later her sister, a nurse, visited Karina and found her condition had deteriorated to the point that she could no longer speak.[11] Per Fink was one of two doctors overseeing her "treatment".[14]

In October of 2014, Karina was moved to a nearby rehabilitation center for brain injury,[15] where she was allowed limited contact with her family. Though she was physically clean and cared-for, she was in a wheelchair and unable to speak clearly. She did not recognize her father at all when he visited her in December of 2015.

Although Karina was already very ill when she was taken from her home, at that time she was still able to stand up occasionally and clearly communicate with others. Her current condition represents a frightening deterioration in her physical and mental health, whether from ME-induced neurological damage, severe over-medication, trauma as a result of her circumstances, or some combination of all three. Though there is no certainty regarding how Karina was treated at Hammel Neurocenter, the recommended treatment for ME in Denmark consists of CBT, GET, occupational therapy, and psychotropic medications.[11]

It took a Danish High Court Case to bring Karina back home three-and-a-half years later.[16][17]

In 2018, Per Fink made a statement on the Aarhus University Hospital website criticizing a media campaign about an unnamed patient that may have been Karina, and claiming that no patient had ever been held at the clinic against their will, and that the Danish parliament had investigated and found no wrongdoing on part of the clinic.[18] Aarhus University Hospital had been reported as advising the Hammel Neurocenter where Karina was held, and protests were held outside both clinics.[19][20]

Clinic location[edit | edit source]

Aarhus University Hospital, Norrebrogade 44, DK-8000 Aarhus C

Tel. +45 7845 0000


Talks and interviews[edit | edit source]

Online presence[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Staff". Aarhus Universitetshospital. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  2. Fink, Per; Rosendal, Marianne (2015). Functional Disorders and Medically Unexplained Symptoms: Assessment and Treatment (PDF). Aarhus University Press. ISBN 978877124851-7.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Invest in ME Research (March 1, 2019). "There is something right in the state of Denmark". Invest in ME Research. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  4. Rosendal, Marianne; Fink, Per; Schröder, Andreas (2012). "Information About Functional Disorders - When the body says stop" (PDF). Aarhus University.
  5. "Tv fra Folketinget". Folketinget (in dansk). Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  6. A, Schroder; E, Rehfeld; E, Ornbol; M, Sharpe; Rw, Licht; P, Fink (April 26, 2012). "Cognitive-behavioural group treatment for a range of functional somatic syndromes: randomised trial". British Journal of Psychiatry.
  7. Coyne, James (December 7, 2016). "Danish RCT of cognitive behavior therapy for whatever ails your physician about you | Mind the Brain". Mind the Brain. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  8. Schröder, Andreas; Ørnbøl, Eva; Jensen, Jens S.; Sharpe, Michael; Fink, Per (2017), "Long-term economic evaluation of cognitive-behavioural group treatment versus enhanced usual care for functional somatic syndromes", Journal of Psychosomatic Research, doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2017.01.005
  9. Fink, Per (June 2017). "Syndromes of bodily distress or functional somatic syndromes - Where are we heading. Lecture on the occasion of receiving the Alison Creed award 2017". Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 97: 127–130. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2017.04.012. ISSN 0022-3999.
  10. Spotlia, Jennie (October 12, 2018). "Protesting Per Fink". Occupy M.E. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Eliot-Smith, Valerie (April 4, 2016), "Karina Hansen 4: Timeline, Torture and Tragedy", Valerie Eliot-Smith Blog
  12. "Karina Hansen", ME Global Chronicle: 6-21, October 25, 2015
  13. "Karina Hansen is a severely ill Danish patient who was forcibly taken from her home", Voices from the Shadows (website), May 9, 2013
  14. Spotlia, Jennie (October 12, 2018). "Protesting Per Fink". Occupy M.E. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  15. "Our daughter was stolen two years ago: Help us, minister", Ekstra Bladet news (Denmark), February 27, 2015
  16. Eliot Smith, Valerie (April 4, 2016). "Karina Hansen 4: Timeline, Torture and Tragedy". valerieeliotsmith. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  17. Eliot Smith, Valerie (June 25, 2018). "Karina Hansen 8: The Aftermath Continues". valerieeliotsmith. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  18. Fink, Per (October 17, 2018). "Publications & news". Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  19. "ME Foreningen Danmark". DX Revision Watch. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  20. "Media coverage: Karina Hansen now detained six months against her will in Hammel Neurocenter, Denmark". DX Revision Watch. August 14, 2013.
  21. Fink, Per; Rosendal, M; Toft, T (September 8, 2004). "The TERM-Model: The Extended Reattribution and Management Model. An advanced educational program for non-psychiatric physicians" (PDF). Wayback Machine. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  22. Fink, Per (2012). "Somatoform disorders – functional somatic syndromes – Bodily distress syndrome. Need for care and organisation of care in an international perspective - EACLPP Lecture" (PDF).
  23. Merry (July 8, 2015). "Per Fink complains about IOM ME/CFS report". Health Rising's Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and Fibromyalgia Forums. Retrieved November 2, 2018.