This Week In The Bmj

Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome are not treated properly

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 03 June 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:0-e

General practitioners are ambivalent about chronic fatigue syndrome and may not be treating patients according to best evidence. Raine and colleagues (p 1354) interviewed 46 general practitioners in England and found that some hold negative stereotypes for chronic fatigue syndrome, but not for irritable bowel syndrome. This antipathy was due to the lack of bodily location, patients failing to conform to the work ethic and traditional “sick role,” and disagreement with patients over causes and management. Referral for mental health interventions was unlikely because doctors were unfamiliar with them or thought them unavailable or unnecessary.

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