Physios share expertise in guide to therapy for ME

Physiotherapy for people with chronic fatigue syndrome must be built around the relationship with the individual, says the British Association for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME (BACME).


The guide can be used to develop individualised care plans for patients

The association’s Therapy and symptom management guide was published on 4 August. Even when a diagnosis of CFS/ME is well established, new symptoms need careful evaluation to ensure that no additional pathology has developed, it says.

BACME is a voluntary organisation that is open to all UK-based health professionals and researchers involved in diagnosing and treating CFS/ME. It says the guide includes a checklist and guide for the treatment of CFS/ME in the NHS by a range of health professionals, including physios.

Developing a consensus about treatment

The aim of the document, according to BACME, is to bring together specialists from different services and professions who work with adults and children who have CFS/ME and to develop a consensus approach to treatment.

It says that the approach has been based on clinician expertise, patient experience and the best available evidence.

The guide has two major sections. The first, symptom management, is intended to provide information about the symptoms of CFS/ME and pharmacological therapy. The second offers guidance for therapists, such as a list of resources about therapies, as well as guidance on support and supervision.

A framework for therapy

Peter Gladwell is a clinical specialist physio at North Bristol NHS Trust’s CFS/ME service. He described the guide as a ‘state-of-the-art’ framework for therapy that can be used to develop an individualised care plan.

He told Frontline that physios worked alongside other professionals to produce the document.

‘It’s particularly helpful that the guide is accessible to both physiotherapists and patients,’ he said. ‘I think this can help to foster shared decision-making about rehabilitation.’

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