The use of practice nurses in the management of ME/CFS

[Ed: I have appended copies of the provisional Abstract and full paper in PDF format.]

“[Includes] link to full paper, which contains some very depressing quotes on how some nurses view ME/CFS and the patients who have it.”  Dr Charles Shepherd, MEA

From the ME Association News page | 23 January 2009

The use of practice nurses in the management of ME/CFS

Barriers to the use of practice nurses in the delivery of effective management strategies for the care of people with ME/CFS have been identified in a study published today by

BMC Nursing, an open-access journal publishing original peer-reviewed articles on all aspects of nursing.

A total of 29 practice nurses were interviewed for the study led by Dr Carolyn Chew-Graham, senior lecturer in primary care at Manchester University’s School of Community-based Studies.

In the provisional abstract carried on BMC Nursing, the six authors say:

“Practice nurses had limited understanding about CFS/ME which had been largely gained through contact with patients, friends, personal experiences and the media rather than formal training. They had difficulty seeing CFS/ME as a long term condition.

“They did identify a potential role they could have in management of CFS/ME but devalued their own skills in psychological intervention, and suggested counselling as an appropriate therapeutic option. They recognised a need for further training and on going supervision from both medical and psychological colleagues.

“Some viewed the condition as contentious and held pejorative views about CFS/ME. Such scepticism and negative attitudes will be a significant barrier to the management of patients with CFS/ME in primary care.”

And, among their conclusions, they say:

“Training must begin by addressing negative attitudes to patients with CFS/ME.”

———————

Open access

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6955/8/2/abstract  

BMC Nursing
Volume 8

Viewing options:
Abstract (Provisional)

PDF (192KB) (Provisional)

Research article

Practice Nurses’ views of their role in the management of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalagic Encephalitis: a qualitative study

Carolyn A Chew-Graham , Rebecca Dixon , Jonathan W Shaw , Nina Smyth , Karina Lovell and Sarah Peters
BMC Nursing 2009, 8:2doi:10.1186/1472-6955-8-2

Published: 22 January 2009

Abstract (provisional)

Background

NICE guidelines suggest that patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalitis (CFS/ME) should be managed in Primary Care. Practice Nurses are increasingly being involved in the management of long-term conditions, so are likely to also have a growing role in managing CFS/ME. However their attitudes to, and experiences of patients with CFS/ME and its management must be explored to understand what barriers may exist in developing their role for this group of patients. The aim of this study was to explore Practice Nurses’ understanding and beliefs about CFS/ME and its management.

Methods

Semi-structured interviews with 29 Practice Nurses. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and an iterative approach used to develop themes from the dataset.

Results

Practice nurses had limited understanding about CFS/ME which had been largely gained through contact with patients, friends, personal experiences and the media rather than formal training. They had difficulty seeing CFS/ME as a long term condition. They did identify a potential role they could have in management of CFS/ME but devalued their own skills in psychological intervention, and suggested counselling as an appropriate therapeutic option. They recognised a need for further training and on going supervision from both medical and psychological colleagues. Some viewed the condition as contentious and held pejorative views about CFS/ME. Such scepticism and negative attitudes will be a significant barrier to the management of patients with CFS/ME in primary care.

Conclusions

The current role of Practice Nurses in the ongoing management of patients with CFS/ME is limited. Practice Nurses have little understanding of the evidence-base for treatment of CFS/ME, particularly psychological therapies, describing management options in terms of advice giving, self-help or counselling. Practice Nurses largely welcomed the potential development of their role in this area, but identified barriers and training needs which must be addressed to enable them to feel confident managing of patients with this condition. Training must begin by addressing negative attitudes to patients with CFS/ME.

The complete article is available as a provisional PDF. The fully formatted PDF and HTML versions are in production.

Click link to open PDF of full paper

The use of practice nurses in management of CFS/ME

Practice Nurses’ views of their role in the management of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalagic Encephalitis: a qualitative study

Advertisements