Solve ME/CFS Initiative Research Program – Information For Healthcare ProvidersAugust 6, 2013
As a health care professional, you play an important role in the fight against myalgic encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). By becoming knowledgeable about the diagnosis and management of ME/CFS and staying abreast of new information, you can provide a higher level of care to your patients and be on the cutting edge of addressing a challenging public health concern.
ME/CFS affects uo to 2.5 million Americans, making it one of the nation’s most prevalent, yet misunderstood, chronic illnesses. Many ME/CFS patients go un-diagnosed, drifting from one health care provider to another until many drop out of the health care system altogether, either out of frustration and hopelessness or due to dwindling financial resources. Preliminary studies indicate that for ME/CFS, as with other chronic conditions, early detection, diagnosis and treatment yield better health outcomes. We must work together to improve patient care.
The Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Social Security Administration asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to convene an expert committee to examine the evidence base for ME/CFS.
In Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness, released in February 2015, the committee proposed new diagnostic criteria that will facilitate timely diagnosis and care and enhance understanding among health care providers and the public. These criteria, based on expert analysis and the most up-to-date scientific literature, are streamlined for practical use in the clinical setting.
The clinicians guide, derived from the IOM report, is intended to help primary and specialty care clinicians better understand this complex, debilitating, and often-misunderstood illness.