The ME/CFS Best Practice Primary Care Service Models have been developed over 17 years, by collaborations between researchers, providers and consumers. They are based on data gathered from a series of research and service outcome projects. Consistent with overseas research, these Models bring together the best of medical care and chronic disease management lifestyle adjustment programs (Lapp and Campbell, 2014, Flinders Program) in parallel pathways.
The Australian ME/CFS Service models are based on the 2014 International ME/CFS General Practice Primer and have been developed using service outcomes and feedback from Australian ME/CFS consumers who have participated in the piloting of health and educational programs, and community service interventions during the current health reform process (Federal and State).
The Australian ME/CFS Best Practice Service Models include:
- Comprehensive Assessments and an accurate diagnosis
- Care planning and referrals to allied health and community programs
- Best practice ME/CFS medical care tailored for each patient. They recommend early intervention and a targeted problem solving approach and tailored patient-centred care planning.
- Allied health interventions are multi-disciplinary, tailored for each patient and introduced one at a time, on a start low / go slow basis.
- The Best Practice Australian ME/CFS Integrated Education Model (Powell et al, 2008) contains 8 components or core steps consistent the Flinders Chronic Disease Management Program:
- Have knowledge of ME/CFS and management options
- Have a treatment and care plan to coordinate a healthcare team
- Actively share in decision making with the healthcare team
- Monitor and manage the signs and symptoms of ME/CFS
- Manage ME/CFS using a mixture of medical and lifestyles decisions (physical, mental, emotional and social life)
- Adopt a lifestyle that promotes health (sleep, stress, diet and movement)
- Extend the care plan to use education, community and other support services
- Regularly review the care in partnership with your case manager