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British CFS/ME Working Group update

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The Chief Medical Officer’s Working Group on CFS/ME met for the first time in March and agreed first that their work, expected to take about 18 months, should be as open as possible. To that end, the group will issue a briefing after each meeting. The group is diverse, and committed itself to including the widest possible range of views. Its goal is to produce a “clear, concise, practical and easy to comprehend document … giving guidance for diagnosis and management, which will be usable by patients, carers, professionals and health service commissioners.”

Among the issues the group may address are the problems patients experience in getting a diagnosis, the role of complementary therapies in treatment, the appropriateness of cognitive behavioral therapy, training and availability of physicians willing to treat the illness, and disability benefits. (The first briefing is available on the British Department of Health website at www.doh.gov.uk/cfs-me.htm.)

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