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Use of formal & informal care among people with prolonged fatigue: a review of the literature - Chronic Fatigue Syndrome research

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www.ProHealth.com • February 1, 1999


Prolonged fatigue is a common symptom in the community and a common complaint in GPs' surgeries. The current consensus is that prolonged fatigue is most appropriately managed within primary care but that quality of care is patchy. Diagnosis is difficult and there is no conclusive evidence about effective treatment. This can lead to confusion and controversy among lay people and health professionals alike. Although the value of a positive doctor-patient relationship is emphasized, general practice consultations are frequently experienced as difficult by both parties. Moreover, little is known about how people access other sources of care and information about prolonged fatigue, such as alternative medicine, self-help groups, lay others, and self care, in conjunction with or as an alternative to care from health professionals. This paper reviews the literature on the nature and extent of the problem prolonged fatigue represents for primary care, and on the use of formal and informal care for prolonged fatigue.

Elliott H




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