Patients & Visitors

Paediatric Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / ME

B11

About the CFS/ME Service

Chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomylopathy (CFS/ME) is relatively common in children, affecting at least 1% of teenagers. It is probably the largest cause of long-term absence from school.

Despite this, there are very few teams in the UK who specialise in seeing children with CFS/ME, and even fewer who are able to see severely affected children in their home.

Why choose us?

Our CFS/ME service for children and young people is a national and local service led by one of the few consultant paediatricians specialising in CFS/ME in the country, Professor Esther Crawley. Professor Crawley and her team see over 300 children with CFS/ME a year and provide a specialist service for the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of any child or young person who has CFS/ME and needs help.

We have particular expertise in helping and supporting children who are severely affected, as well as children whose case may be complicated by more than one problem. The outlook for children with CFS/ME who access appropriate treatment is excellent, with most making a good or complete recovery. We therefore aim for recovery.

We believe that all clinical care should have an evidence base. We therefore only offer treatment that has been shown to work in trials. Professor Crawley runs a research team based at the University of Bristol which conducts research in to the causes and treatment of CFS/ME. This means that all the treatment offered by the clinical team is based on the most up-to-date research results.

We are currently running a number of research studies, including the FITNET-NHS and MAGENTA trials. FITNET-NHS is a randomised controlled trial comparing two treatments for children with (CFS/ME) who do not have access to a local specialist CFS/ME service.   Further information about FITNET-NHS is available here.  The MAGENTA study is designed to test treatment by “Graded Exercise Therapy” compares to Activity Management – further information is available here.  If you are eligible for any of these trials, your clinician will discuss the study with you in full detail, you can find out more information about research projects here.

As part of a series of programmes on BBC Radio 4 looking at this condition, Case Notes presenter Dr Mark Porter accompanied Professor Crawley in her clinic to find out more about CFS/ME, and meet some of the children who have been affected by this condition. You can listen to the Case Notes programme on the Radio 4 website.

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