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The current study sought to better understand the experience of individuals with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in accessing care for their debilitating illness. Of 898 participants, less than half had ever seen an ME or CFS specialist, though 99% of participants were interested in specialist care. Participants cited geographic and financial barriers as most frequently precluding access to specialists. Furthermore, satisfaction with specialist care greatly exceeded satisfaction with non-specialist care. These findings suggested that individuals with ME and CFS represent a medically-underserved population, due to lack of available care. The CFS Advisory Committee and NIH Pathways to Prevention Working Group recommended the creation of ME and CFS Centers of Excellence to improve the healthcare access of patients with ME and CFS. The current study documents the need for these centers, as they would ameliorate geographic and financial barriers to quality care.
Source: Madison Sunnquist, Laura Nicholson, Leonard A. Jason, and Kenneth J. Friedman. Access to Medical Care for Individuals with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Call for Centers of Excellence. Modern Clinical Medicine Research, Vol. 1, No. 1, April 2017. (Full article)