Chronic fatigue syndrome (or ME)

Sir Andrew Dillon, NICE chief executive, said: “The strong message from stakeholders was that the continuing debate about the causes of this condition and the best approach to treatment argued for a review of the current guideline.”

“We will now recruit a guideline committee which will include people with the condition and their carers, the healthcare professionals who treat them and the organisations which commission that treatment. As with all the guidance we produce, we will also ensure that stakeholders have the opportunity to provide evidence and insights throughout the development of the guideline.”

CFS/ME is a relatively common condition affecting around 190,000 people in the UK. It comprises a range of symptoms that includes tiredness, headaches, sleep disturbances, difficulties concentrating and muscle pain.

It can cause prolonged illness and disability and although some people have relatively mild symptoms and can still manage daily activities with additional rest, others have a serious illness that severely affects their everyday lives and may be housebound. The pattern of a person’s symptoms, and their severity, can vary from day to day, or even in the same day.

Further details about the review, including a scope outlining what it will cover and information about recruitment to the guideline committee, will be published on the NICE website as they become available.