Review of Qualitative Studies Yields Information for Clinicians

Researchers at DePaul University systematically reviewed and analyzed 34 qualitative studies on ME/CFS. Three themes focused on: (1) experiences of people with ME/CFS, (2) experiences of physicians and (3) themes that intersect both of these groups. For patients, illness development influenced identity, reductions in functioning and coping. Physician-specific themes described lack of awareness about ME/CFS and recommended improvement in educational resources. Intersecting themes expressed issues with diagnosis creating tensions and fueling the stigmatization of ME/CFS. The researchers suggest that future qualitative studies recognize the various facets of the ME/CFS experience, the network members of people with ME/CFS, and the sociocultural environment through which the illness is understood. This review shows that health care professionals can gain unique insight from patient experiences, allowing for more accurate diagnoses and treatment recommendations. (Patient Education and Counseling, May 13, 2011)

Tags: , May 13, 2011