New elearning on ME/chronic fatigue syndrome

A new online course provides an accessible introduction, which is suitable for all clinicians, to help gain an understanding of the complex nature of ME/CFS, says Peter Gladwell

Dr Peter Gladwell is a clinical specialist physiotherapist and service lead at the Bristol ME Service and a British Association for Clinicians in ME/CFS board member
Dr Peter Gladwell is a clinical specialist physiotherapist and service lead at the Bristol ME Service and a British Association for Clinicians in ME/CFS board member

Over 250,000 people in the UK are thought to be living with myalgic encephalomyelitis or chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). 

Despite these figures, there are still many misconceptions around ME/CFS, and those with it often suffer from prolonged delays in diagnosis and have to live with stigma due to these misconceptions. 

Healthcare professionals, carers and anyone interested in increasing their understanding can now access a new elearning resource. This resource is developed in collaboration with patient groups and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and aims to enhance knowledge and support for individuals living with ME/CFS.

Following the publication of the NICE Guideline for ME/CFS in 2020, a working group led by the DHSC has been working together to improve the understanding of ME/CFS within healthcare and also within society as a whole. 

The working group includes representation from the CSP as well as other professional bodies and patient charities. It also includes clinicians and many people with lived experience of ME/CFS.

There will be three elearning sessions in due course, but the first one is now live. It aims to provide an overview suitable for all clinicians, multidisciplinary teams, service users, families and support providers.

This first session is accessible to all and is an introduction to the complex nature of ME/CFS. It explains what it is, discusses potential causes and diagnostic challenges and provides an overview of possible management strategies.

It also aims to:

  • highlight the variability in patient experiences and the impact on individuals and their families.
  • encourage the adoption of a multidisciplinary approach.
  • highlight the importance of pacing, symptom management and supportive networks.

The second and third sessions will be published soon and will be aimed at primary and secondary care clinicians. They focus on the management of ME/CFS, treatment recommendations and pharmacological options. Learn more and access the sessions here.   

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