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Diagnostics 2018, 8(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics8020034

Dutch Health Council Advisory Report on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Taking the Wrong Turn

ME-de-patiënten Foundation, Zonnedauw 15, 1906 HB Limmen, The Netherlands
Received: 16 April 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 16 May 2018
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Abstract

Recently, the Dutch Health Council published their advisory report on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) which is meant to determine the medical policy with regard to ME in the Netherlands. The Health Council briefly discusses several diagnostic criteria and proposes to use new diagnostic criteria for “ME/CFS” in research and clinical practice in the future. The advisory report then summarizes organic abnormalities observed in the last decades and concludes that “ME/CFS” is a “serious, chronic, multisystem disease”. According to the Health Council there are no curative treatments for “ME/CFS”, due to lack of knowledge, but specific medication could bring symptomatic relief. The Health Council recommends conducting more research, to (re)educate medical professionals about “ME/CFS”, to appoint three academic expertise centres, which will install a care network for patients, and to fairly judge the limitations (disability) of patients when they apply for a disability income, medical aid and care. The advisory report was welcomed by many patients, because it puts an end to the dominance of the (bio)psychosocial explanatory model and seems to offer a perspective of improving the situation of patients. However, the starting point of the advisory report, a new definition of “ME/CFS”, will have serious (long-lasting) consequences for patients and researchers.
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Keywords: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis; chronic fatigue syndrome; systemic exertion intolerance disease; diagnosis; health policy Myalgic Encephalomyelitis; chronic fatigue syndrome; systemic exertion intolerance disease; diagnosis; health policy
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Twisk, F. Dutch Health Council Advisory Report on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Taking the Wrong Turn. Diagnostics 2018, 8, 34.

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