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CMRC conference: Physios for M.E. & medical education

January 13, 2020

A representative from Physios for M.E. has joined the Medical Education Working Group as part of the UK CFS/M.E. Research Collaborative (CMRC), which aims to identify the most effective way to engage with doctors, nurses, physios and other health professionals to improve understanding of and education about M.E. The group's Chair, Dr Nina Muirhead, will present at the CMRC's sixth annual science conference in Bristol, Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 March; all are welcome.

Physios for M.E. is an informal professional collective, aiming to "educate and start conversation to stimulate new ideas in line with a biomedical approach so we can improve physiotherapy treatment for people with M.E."

This weekend, Physios for M.E. reported on Twitter that, with the support of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, they surveyed UK universities about M.E.-related teaching on their physiotherapy courses; just over half responded.

  • Of those who replied, less than half (46%) include teaching about M.E. within their physiotherapy course. The majority (55%) of courses that include teaching about M.E. spend between one and two hours on the illness, within a three-year programme.
  • Teaching was inconsistent between institutions, varying from a psychosocial approach following current the NICE guideline for M.E., to holistic multidisciplinary management that highlights the issues with graded exercise therapy.

"This data highlights the lack of education for trainee physios about M.E., and the contradictory information being taught across the country," says Physios for M.E. "We hope to influence the inclusion of M.E. in physiotherapy undergraduate courses going forwards. For qualified therapists this lack of training is problematic as people with ME are seen in paediatrics, community, musculoskeletal and neurological physiotherapy practice. Treatments need to be adapted even when not treating M.E. directly. It is our professional responsibility to keep up-to-date with the latest research. Physios need to be aware of the latest biomedical research related to M.E. beyond the outdated NICE guideline."