26 October 2011
A number of people contacted Action for M.E. with questions following recent publication of an article in Innovait about GP management of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
The charity’s Policy Group have responded as follows:
Action for M.E. was not involved nor consulted by the authors of the Innovait CFS paper and we did not see it before publication.
The paper uses NICE Guideline 53 as the basis for that advice. This is inevitable given the status of NICE Guidelines within the NHS. Action for M.E. continues to view NICE Guideline 53 as beneficial to the patient group despite its limitations.
We support the following points made in the paper:
- there is a stigma attached to CFS and “even medical professionals may negatively stereotype people with CFS”
- people with CFS should be taken seriously by GPs
- symptoms should be managed early, even before a diagnosis is established
- action plans should be shared with patients
- CFS has a significant impact on patients
- GPs should facilitate access to disability support.
Action for M.E. does not agree with the implication in the paper that CFS is a mental health problem.
We support the World Health Organisation classification of M.E. as neurological.
We strongly support scientific research aimed at identifying phenotypes and establishing beyond doubt the causation of M.E./CFS. Meanwhile we note that there is a considerable body of evidence and clinical narrative that points towards M.E. having a physical cause or causes.