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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Chronic Fatigue

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What will my treatment involve?

The OUH Fatigue Service offers the NICE recommended treatment for CFS/ME.

This is Graded Exercise Therapy (GET) or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

We normally ask our patients to complete two weeks of activity diaries. These are weekly schedules that help us understand what you are doing on a day to day basis and approximately how much you are doing, and for how long. Using this diary system we will also ask you to estimate how much sleep you are getting each night and in this way we can hopefully start to help you look at how you are managing your daily activities and whether this has an impact your fatigue and symptoms.

You may want to start recording you daily activities before you come for your first assessment:

Activity Diary (pdf, 61 KB)

When we have a better understanding of what you are doing on a daily basis we may start with some simple ideas to help you balance activity and rest to determine if this can assist you with your fatigue levels. Change is often hard and we are here to support you.

Once we understand how you move, when you move and how often, we would normally start with a physical approach such as GET. This involves you starting some very simple stretches which we will help you with. Then we will see where you need to tailor your activity and exercise. It is different for everyone, but the focus is on doing the smallest amount of activity for the greatest gain.

You can find a booklet about GET at the link below:

Graded Exercise Therapy (GET) (pdf, 1.8 MB)

You may like to watch this video on patients' experience of GET, and how it has helped them:

The Graded Exercise Therapy (GET) course

The Graded Exercise Therapy (GET) course

Duration: 12 minutes 09 seconds
Graded Exercise Therapy (GET) aims to help patients referred to the service overcome the limitations caused by the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). Graded exercise therapy is the use of regular physical activity, determined from a personalised baseline point for each patient increasing incrementally over time.

Assessment

You will be offered this second assessment appointment to determine how best the service can benefit you. Appointments are normally an hour long and take place at the Therapies department, Churchill Hospital.

Your appointment will be with either a psychologist or a physiotherapist. We will ask you some more questions and find our more information about how CFS/ME affects you. This assessment will look in detail at a comprehensive range of physical, mental and lifestyle attributes that may contribute to CFS/ME.

We can then jointly decide which of the treatment options would be of most benefit.

Please note there is usually a waiting list for patients at the service.