This guideline covers diagnosing and managing chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) which is also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) (or encephalopathy). It aims to improve the quality of life for people with CFS/ME by setting out the care and treatment options that should be available for them.
NICE is aware of concerns about graded exercise therapy (GET) and is updating the current recommendations. Please see the guideline in development page for information on our update (including draft recommendations on GET). We are also developing guidance on the management of the long-term effects of COVID-19.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- general management after diagnosis
- referral to specialist care
- managing setbacks/relapses
- review and ongoing management
- principles of care for people with severe CFS/ME
Who is it for?
- Healthcare professionals
- People with CFS/ME, their families and carers
Is this guideline up to date?
Guideline development process
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.
All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.
Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.