References

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Neuropathic pain in adults: pharmacological management in non-specialist settings. 2020. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg173 (accessed 7 December 2021)

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Myalgic encephalomyelitis (or encephalopathy)/chronic fatigue syndrome: diagnosis and management. 2021a. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng206/chapter/Recommendations (accessed 7 December 2021)

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Headaches in over 12s: diagnosis and management. 2021b. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg150 (accessed 7 December 2021)

New guidance for ME and CFS to improve understanding of these largely misunderstood conditions

02 January 2022
9 min read
Volume 33 · Issue 1

Abstract

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published new guidelines on myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Sarah Jane Palmer looks at the key changes made

An important update to guidance on the topic of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) has been published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE, 2021a) to replace the existing guidelines relating to the diagnosis and management of these conditions, which was published in 2007. In that considerable length of time between publications, misunderstanding, confusion and even disbelief were observed among clinicians regarding these illnesses. This led to variations in care and outcomes, and therefore NICE (2021a) published the new guidance as a way to share what an expert committee have advised on multiple areas relating to these diagnoses, and to provide clarity and rectify misunderstanding, so that CFS and ME can be treated appropriately, the patient can receive the best care, a non-judgmental view can be fostered, and outcomes for the patient and NHS finances can be improved.

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