Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a common and severe complex multisystem disease with many sufferers waiting years for a diagnosis. The narrative and education to date has neither aligned with the patient experience of this illness, nor communicated the emerging biomedical evidence.
Following the coronavirus pandemic thousands of people will know how severe and debilitating the symptoms of fatigue can be. Millions will understand the experience of being housebound, but for most these experiences will have lasted days, weeks or months.
Imagine feeling viral, exhausted, unwell and in pain, confined to your bed or house, lying in a dark room for years or even decades. The world has been shocked by the damage that viruses can do, and soon we will need to examine the consequences of chronic post-viral illness including ME/CFS.
In writing this module I have started from scratch. I have drawn on the international peer reviewed literature and emerging international ME/CFS educational resources and have been fortunate to receive significant contributions from medical experts, scientists and patients.
I am humbled by the contributions of those who are severely ill and the effort and energy they have devoted to this collaboration. I recommend that you read the four pre-course peer reviewed papers before embarking on the learning module. It would be of great help if you could take a minute to click through the pre-and post-course questionnaire so that more accurate information can be gathered to help develop and update future ME/CFS learning materials.
This module is just the start. There will be some who take time picking through the evidence and I welcome your opinion and future collaboration. For others it may be an extra CPD point. For the patients who are recognised, believed and diagnosed because you have taken the time to do this learning module – it could be life changing.
Author: Dr Nina Muirhead BA(oxon) BMBCh(oxon) MRCS DOHNS MEd PGDipDerm. Dr Muirhead is also also associated with or alumni of: Oxford University, Open University, Cardiff University, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, the Royal College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Physicians.
Once you have downloaded this resource, we would greatly appreciate it if you could take 2 minutes to complete a questionnaire before beginning the resource, and after you've completed the resource. These questionnaires will be sent to you in an email, and will be used to monitor the progression of your ME/CFS knowledge.