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This paper presents the findings of a postal survey that examined the experience of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) in the primary care setting. The views of 51 general practitioners (GPs) (response rate of 30%) and 51 people that had experienced CFS/ME (response rate of 61%) were collected in an attempt to describe both the occupational disruption experienced due to CFS/ME and the current management offered in primary care, and to investigate whether there was an early intervention role for occupational therapy. The greatest level of occupational disruption reported was in the performance of self-care and productivity tasks and the most helpful intervention reported was that of acknowledgement of the condition and its implications. The GPs rated the use of cognitive behavioural therapy and graded exercise therapy as more beneficial than medical care for CFS/ME and many offered advice on these interventions, but 57% of people with CFS/ME reported that they had received unhelpful advice and/or treatment from their GP. Currently, there is little research evidence to support any particular interventions for people with CFS/ME in primary care and the prevention of occupational dysfunction, as often seen in secondary and tertiary care, is a role that could be fulfilled by occupational therapists.

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Journal Article

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