Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: a survey of GPs' attitudes and knowledge

Pheby, Derek; Bowen, Jo; Charlett, Andre and McNulty, Cliodna (2005) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: a survey of GPs' attitudes and knowledge. Family Practice, 22 (4). pp. 389-393. ISSN 1460-2229 (online)

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Abstract

Background. GPs need evidence and guidance to help them diagnose and manage Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)/ME appropriately. Objectives. The aim of this survey was to obtain baseline data and identify the factors associated with GPs' attitudes to and knowledge of CFS/ME. The attitude of GPs to the condition is an important indicator of likely prognosis. Methods. A postal questionnaire was sent to 1054 GPs served by Taunton, Bristol and Gloucester laboratories. GPs' attitudes to nine statements about CFS/ME were assessed and the factors associated with positive or negative responses were determined. Knowledge of the clinical features was also assessed. Results. 811 GPs (77%) returned the questionnaire. 48% of GPs did not feel confident with making a diagnosis of CFS/ME and 41% did not feel confident in treatment. 72% of GPs accepted CFS/ME as a recognisable clinical entity and those GPs had significantly more positive attitudes. Three other key factors that were significantly, positively associated with GPs' attitudes were knowing someone socially with CFS/ME, being male and seeing more patients with the condition in the last year. Conclusion. Despite the publication of guidance for GPs on CFS/ME, confidence with making a diagnosis and management was found to be low. Educational initiatives and guidance for GPs should stress the importance of accepting CFS/ME as a recognisable clinical entity, as this is linked to having a positive attitude and could lead to improved confidence to make a diagnosis and treat CFS/ME patients.

Item Type: Article
Members: Bucks New University
Depositing User: ULCC Admin
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2013 13:49
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2016 10:21
URI: http://collections.crest.ac.uk/id/eprint/9936

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