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A Literature Review of GP Knowledge and Understanding of ME/CFS: A Report from the Socioeconomic Working Group of the European Network on ME/CFS (EUROMENE)

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Society and Health, Buckinghamshire New University, High Wycombe HP11 2JZ, UK
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Department of Dosage Form Technology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Riga Stradins University, Dzirciema Street 16, LV-1007 Riga, Latvia
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Institute of Microbiology and Virology, Riga Stradins University, Dzirciema Street 16, LV-1007 Riga, Latvia
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Department of Economics and Finance, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Largo Agostino Gemelli 1, 20123 Milan, Italy
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School of Business & Economics, National University of Ireland Galway, University Road, H91 TK33 Galway, Ireland
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Internal Medicine Department, University of Lorraine, 34, cours Léopold, CS 25233, CEDEX F−54052 Nancy, France
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University Hospital of Nancy, Rue du Morvan, 54511 Vandœuvre-Lès-Nancy, France
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Department of Economics, University of Messina, Piazza Pugliatti 1, 98122 Messina, Italy
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Centre for Health Economics & Medicines Evaluation, Bangor University, Bangor LL57 2PZ, UK
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Institute of Epidemiology & Health, Royal Free Medical School, University College London, London NW3 2PF, UK
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School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, College Green, D02 PN40 Dublin 2, Ireland
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Global Brain Health Institute, School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, College Green, D02 PN40 Dublin 2, Ireland
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Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicina 2021, 57(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57010007
Received: 24 November 2020 / Revised: 11 December 2020 / Accepted: 21 December 2020 / Published: 24 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ME/CFS: Causes, Clinical Features and Diagnosis)
Background and Objectives: The socioeconomic working group of the European myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) Research Network (EUROMENE) has conducted a review of the literature pertaining to GPs’ knowledge and understanding of ME/CFS; Materials and Methods: A MEDLINE search was carried out. The papers identified were reviewed following the synthesis without meta-analysis (SWiM) methodology, and were classified according to the focus of the enquiry (patients, GPs, database and medical record studies, evaluation of a training programme, and overview papers), and whether they were quantitative or qualitative in nature; Results: Thirty-three papers were identified in the MEDLINE search. The quantitative surveys of GPs demonstrated that a third to a half of all GPs did not accept ME/CFS as a genuine clinical entity and, even when they did, they lacked confidence in diagnosing or managing it. It should be noted, though, that these papers were mostly from the United Kingdom. Patient surveys indicated that a similar proportion of patients was dissatisfied with the primary medical care they had received. These findings were consistent with the findings of the qualitative studies that were examined, and have changed little over several decades; Conclusions: Disbelief and lack of knowledge and understanding of ME/CFS among GPs is widespread, and the resultant diagnostic delays constitute a risk factor for severe and prolonged disease. Failure to diagnose ME/CFS renders problematic attempts to determine its prevalence, and hence its economic impact. View Full-Text
Keywords: ME/CFS; myalgic encephalomyelitis; chronic fatigue syndrome; primary care; GP knowledge and understanding ME/CFS; myalgic encephalomyelitis; chronic fatigue syndrome; primary care; GP knowledge and understanding
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pheby, D.F.H.; Araja, D.; Berkis, U.; Brenna, E.; Cullinan, J.; de Korwin, J.-D.; Gitto, L.; Hughes, D.A.; Hunter, R.M.; Trepel, D.; Wang-Steverding, X. A Literature Review of GP Knowledge and Understanding of ME/CFS: A Report from the Socioeconomic Working Group of the European Network on ME/CFS (EUROMENE). Medicina 2021, 57, 7. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57010007

AMA Style

Pheby DFH, Araja D, Berkis U, Brenna E, Cullinan J, de Korwin J-D, Gitto L, Hughes DA, Hunter RM, Trepel D, Wang-Steverding X. A Literature Review of GP Knowledge and Understanding of ME/CFS: A Report from the Socioeconomic Working Group of the European Network on ME/CFS (EUROMENE). Medicina. 2021; 57(1):7. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57010007

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pheby, Derek F.H.; Araja, Diana; Berkis, Uldis; Brenna, Elenka; Cullinan, John; de Korwin, Jean-Dominique; Gitto, Lara; Hughes, Dyfrig A.; Hunter, Rachael M.; Trepel, Dominic; Wang-Steverding, Xia. 2021. "A Literature Review of GP Knowledge and Understanding of ME/CFS: A Report from the Socioeconomic Working Group of the European Network on ME/CFS (EUROMENE)" Medicina 57, no. 1: 7. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57010007

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