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.
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?
In 2015 we were told about 3 US reports that indicated there are likely to be changes in diagnostic criteria that could have an impact on the guideline recommendations. We decided to start a check of whether the guideline needs updating, and plan to publish our decision in summer 2017. We have since been made aware of new information about the 2011 PACE trial, and we will also consider that in the check. Register as a stakeholder to be informed about the decision.
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 are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.
Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users 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 compliance 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.