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."

Click HERE to read the abstract. The full study is available as a downloadable PDF.

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