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Learn about ME and Occupational Therapy podcast

Learn about ME and Occupational Therapy podcast

May 22, 2024

Our latest Learn about ME explores a much more preferable person-centred approach, sharing insight and experience from Katie Davies, Occupational Therapy Team Lead in NHS Grampian; and Corinne, a patient with Long Covid.

“The most important thing is needing to understand the condition and the impact that symptoms can have - before you start working with someone,” explains Katie. “The OT role can really vary according to each person throughout the various stages of their condition, but with the overall aim of trying to regulate their body systems, trying to achieve stability and making sure they balance activity with rest.”

To avoid potential harms by energy management being wrongly applied, the 2021 NICE guideline for ME/CFS recommends that, “in specific circumstances, people with ME/CFS should be referred to a physiotherapist or occupational therapist in an ME/CFS specialist team.”

Corrine, who has lived with Long Covid for two years, began working with Katie after being referred by her GP. She says:

“You’re surrounded by ‘experts’ in your family, your friends, they all think they know what it's like. You try and explain, but It's very difficult.

So to have somebody who is an expert in this field, it gave me that sense of security, a sense of peace. Your energy becomes the most precious thing you have, and you've got to use it wisely. It was understanding that it's okay to say no to people.”

Katie highlights that OTs need to understand the impact of post exertional malaise (PEM), which can be triggered by the smallest amount of physical, cognitive or emotional activity.

This podcast is the latest in our Learn about ME series accompanying Dr Nina Muirhead’s free CPD learning module for GPs and other health professionals – highly recommended by Katie and the hundreds of other professionals that have studied it.

“I did it when it first came out and I then thought, I need to review this again because we’re all always learning. The questions relating to diagnosis of ME I found really useful and would be really helpful for anybody starting off in this area. And there's reference to Long Covid, which is really important.

I've been using it with staff, during supervision and for training.”

You can use our template letter to highlight the learning module to your GP or other health professional, along with accompanying Learn about ME podcasts on range of topics including Long Covid, paediatrics and physiotherapy.