In 2000, the Association made a commitment to
to inform health care providers about the diagnosis and basic management of chronic fatigue and immune
dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS). In partnership with another nonprofit organization and two federal agencies,
these activities are now getting underway.
On Oct. 1, 2000, a grant proposal and funding from the
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) was officially approved for a primary care provider
education project. The project is intended to help health care professionals recognize CFIDS, identify
clinical decision-making diagnostic strategies, consider the various approaches to short-and long-term
management of CFIDS, and understand the possible etiologies of the illness.
A medical teaching
curriculum for CFIDS that covers medical history, physical exams, and using psychosocial data when forming
a CFIDS diagnosis has been developed by a group of nationally recognized CFIDS experts. The curriculum
stresses treatment and management strategies to improve CFIDS symptoms and help patients be as functional
Several curriculum formats are being developed, including live lecture presentations,
a web-based self-study module, and videos, and will be available in the near future.
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will provide continuing education credits for the course.
The Advisory Committee was formed in November
2000 to guide
and oversee the development and application of the curriculum and help educate health care providers.
members include: Julie Barroso, PhD, ANP, DS, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill; Kristine Healy, PA-C, Physician Assistant and Instruc-tor, Midwestern University,
Chicago; Leonard Jason, PhD, and Professor of Psychology, De Paul University, Chicago; and Charles Lapp,
MD, Inter-nal Medicine and Pediatrics, CFIDS specialist, Hunter-Hopkins Center, Charlotte, NC.
Committee met for the first time in Chicago December 14-15.
Plans are underway to attend and exhibit at national
conferences for internal medicine physicians, physician assistants, and advanced practice nurses. A large
exhibit to be used at provider conferences has been completed and features photos of people with CFIDS
along with diagnosis and management tips for providers. The display made its debut at the AACFS conference
in Seattle, Jan. 26-30.
Training the trainers
This January the process of selecting 50
trainers from seven states began. These professionals will complete a two-day training session on curriculum
content, then return to their home states to present two one- to two-hour programs to providers in their
local areas before October 2001.
This train-the-trainer format will allow for a broad dissem-ination
of CFIDS information to the medical community and provide a method to ensure accurate distribution of
CFIDS facts. It will also facilitate evaluation to ensure that educational efforts result in improved
care for CFIDS patients.
Core trainers will be health care practitioners who have demonstrated
an interest, but not necessarily expertise, in CFIDS. The master trainer for the core training is Dr.
Training sessions will be held this spring.
The health care provider education project on CFIDS is administered by
The CFIDS Association
of America and the Illinois Area Health Education Center Program under a grant from HRSA and the CDC.