The report of the Chief Medical Officer's CFS/ME working group: what does it say and will it help?
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) sometimes known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or encephalopathy (ME) has long been a controversial topic. This year has seen the publication of a report from an independent working party set up by the UK Chief Medical Officer (CMO) to make recommendations for the management of the condition. The report makes a number of general recommendations about the provision of appropriate care and services. The more controversial issues of what to call the illness, the nature of the illness and what treatment should be recommended are all addressed, but in the form of compromise rather than resolution. To the extent that this report is a step towards highlighting the needs not only of patients with CFS but the larger group of patients with symptom-defined conditions, it is to be welcomed. As a guide to management it raises as many questions as it answers. Much remains to be resolved before guidance that is both evidence based and acceptable to all parties is achieved.