NICE CFS/ME guideline: Media coverage round-up One

NICE CFS/ME guideline: Media coverage round-up One

The publication of the exceedingly nasty NICE CFS/ME guideline has received little media attention:

Daily Telegraph, UK
24 August 2007

Treat ME more seriously, doctors ordered

Doctors have been told to take ME – a debilitating condition once dismissed as “yuppie flu” – seriously and not just tell patients to go to the gym.


Patients with ME should be given individual plans to help them manage their condition, guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said yesterday.


People with mild or moderate ME should be offered graded exercise therapy (GET) and psychotherapy in the form of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)…

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Daily Mail, UK
22 August 2007

Doubting doctors are ordered to take ME patients seriously

By Jeremy Hope

The Health Service has issued the first guidance on how to treat ME sufferers after being urged to bring the condition ‘out of the wilderness’.


It aims to redress years of prejudice against those with chronic fatigue syndrome – the term by which ME is now often known – who were told the condition was ‘all in the mind’.


The NHS guidelines instruct doctors not to tell patients to ‘go to the gym’ as this could make them worse.


Although those suffering from the condition can benefit from gentle exercise, they should not be coerced into it.


Family doctors are also advised to refer children with symptoms of the disorder to a paediatrician within six weeks.


The guidelines state that a diagnosis should be made within three months in children and four months in adults.


The document from the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence comes after years of controversy surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of chronic fatigue…

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A response from Dr John H Greensmith in the Letters section to the Daily Mail article:

Some doctors are already able to recognise and diagnose M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis ), as a serious discrete neurological illness, clinically but those who do not believe that it is any more than chronic fatigue, or think it is ‘all in the mind’, for lack of scientific evidence, won’t believe it until they have got a definitive diagnostic test for M.E.


But we are spending the millions of pounds that could fund the research to do this on providing two management strategies, one of which, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) does no lasting good for M.E. suffers and the other, Graded Exercise Treatment (GET), which may do lasting, irreversible, harm to some.


The NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) report with its lax terminology and its reliance on questionable experimental designs and interpretations, produced by a disproportionate number of advisers with a psychiatric background – already in favour of and using these treatments – was much too narrow in its remit to make any material difference to M.E. patients.


M.E. sufferers will not, in practice, be treated as equal partners in the process and will not realistically be able to refuse the authority of the therapist if they ever feel uncomfortable or worse.


Things will not change until the biomedical research supported by appropriate funding, comes first.


Yours sincerely

Dr John H Greensmith
ME Free For All 

Western Daily Press, UK
29 August 2007

By Aleisha Scott

ME Guidelines a step forward but not enough

Sufferers of ME are angry that the Government’s health watchdog has failed to recognise the debilitating condition as neurological.


The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (Nice) has issued new guidelines to doctors on how they should treat Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.


The guidance, which has taken three years to compile, says healthcare professionals should take the illness seriously.


But it does not support the World Health Organisation’s view that it is a neurological condition.


Instead, Nice advocates psychotherapy treatment or exercise programmes that ME sufferers say do not help the illness, which affects 240,000 people in the UK…

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