An Innovative Approach in Training Health Care Workers to Diagnose and Manage Patients with CFS pp. 175-184
Authors: Leonard A. Jason (DePaul University), Chuck Lapp (Hunter-Hopkins Center) and Terri Lupton (The CFIDS Association of America, Inc.
Abstract: This study provides a description and evaluation of this innovative Train-the-Trainer approach for training health care workers in the diagnosis and management of patients with CFS. Those who attended this workshop did have significant changes in their understanding of CFS as well as attitudes towards those with this illness. Following the workshops, these trainers went back to their own settings and put on workshops to train others, and through this process, several thousand individuals were presented with information about the diagnosis and management of CFS. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is an illness characterized by prolonged, debilitating fatigue and multiple nonspecific symptoms such as headache, recurrent sore throat, muscle and joint pain, and cognitive complaints. Profound fatigue, the hallmark of the disorder, can come on suddenly or gradually and persist or recur throughout the period of illness (Fukuda et al., 1994). Unlike the short-term disability of an acute infection, CFS symptoms by definition linger for at least six months and often for years. The majority of patients report an acute onset, over a period of hours or a few days. Others report a more gradual onset, as if they have a bout of flu from which they do not completely recover. CFS is marked by a dramatic difference in the patient‘s pre- and post-illness activity level and stamina (Jason & Taylor, 2003). Health care professionals play an important role in diagnosing and treating patients with CFS.