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The British Association for CFS/ME (BACME) is a multidisciplinary organisation for professionals in the UK who are "involved in the evidence-based management of patients with CFS/ME".[1] BACME has a close relationship with the UK CMRC.[2]

Aims[edit | edit source]

BACME states that its purpose is to "promote and support the delivery of evidence-based treatment for children, young people, and adults with CFS/ME in the UK".

BACME Executive[edit | edit source]

The BACME Executive included the following members in 2018

The BACME Executive aims to have representatives from each of the following professions:

  • clinical psychologists
  • dieticians
  • GPs
  • liaison psychiatrists
  • doctors
  • nurses
  • occupational health practitioners
  • occupational therapists
  • physiotherapists
  • or other primary care workers[4]

According to the constitution, the BACME aims to have representatives in each of the following areas: Northern, North, East & West Yorkshire, Liverpool & Mersey, Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire & North Derbyshire, East Midlands, West Midlands & Birmingham, East Anglia, North London & Essex & Sussex & Hertfordshire, South West London & Surrey (Sutton), Dorset & Hampshire & Isle of Wight, Avon & Wiltshire & Somerset, South-West Peninsula (Cornwall and Devon).[4]

BACME Members[edit | edit source]

In 2018, BACME reported that it had 131 members.[5] The current Chair of BACME is Gabrielle Murphy. Other notable members include Esther Crawley, who both presented at the BACME 2018 annual conference, PACE trial author Lucy V Clark, and NICE guidelines review committee members Gabrielle Murphy and Mike Beadsworth.[5]

Membership is open to clinicians and researchers, including psychologists, medical doctors, managers, students and physiotherapists.[2]

BACME influence on NHS and NICE[edit | edit source]

The BACME were stakeholders in the 2007 and 2017 NICE guidelines consultations. The Guideline Development Group (GDG) that produced the 2007 NICE guidelines included Esther Crawley, who was BACME Chair.

The current NICE guidelines review group, due to publish the revised guidelines in 2021, includes BACME executive member Mike Beadsworth and current Chair Gabrielle Murphy, and may include other BACME members.

Biopsychosocial model[edit | edit source]

BACME promotes the controversial NICE guidelines, which strongly recommend Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Graded Exercise Therapy (GET) based on the biopsychosocial model of ME/CFS, both these treatments are very unpopular with patients and patient groups.[6]

A patient survey commissioned by NICE in 2019 found very few patients improved with graded exercise therapy, and more patients found it harmful than neutral or helpful. The same patient survey found that most patients found CBT ineffective, some found it harmful and only a minority of patients found it helpful.[7][8] Previous patient surveys have found similar results.[9]

ME/CFS position statement[edit | edit source]

BACME unexpectedly released a ME/CFS position paper in October 2020, shortly before the publication of the draft of the UK's revised NICE guidelines.[10] This position statement announced that BACME no longer supported the deconditioning theory of ME/CFS, which is part of the biopsychosocial model and is widely regarded as the primary justification for graded exercise therapy and CBT.[10]

BACME does not support the deconditioning model of ME/CFS as a primary cause for the condition. It is recognised that deconditioning may be, for some, an additional complicating factor of living with any disabling chronic health condition. — BACME, ME/CFS Position Paper on the Management of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (October 2020)

Contact details[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

NICE guidelines - Clinical guidelines used in the UK.

biopsychosocial model (BPS) - A school of thought, usually based in psychology, which claims illness and disease to be the result of the intermingling of biological, psychological and social causes. (Learn more: Biopsychosocial model

biopsychosocial model (BPS) - A school of thought, usually based in psychology, which claims illness and disease to be the result of the intermingling of biological, psychological and social causes. (Learn more: Biopsychosocial model

α - Greek letter alpha or alfa (symbol)

cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) - A type of psychotherapy geared toward modifying alleged unhealthy thinking, behaviors or illness beliefs. One of the treatment arms used in the controversial PACE trial.

ME/CFS - An acronym that combines myalgic encephalomyelitis with chronic fatigue syndrome. Sometimes they are combined because people have trouble distinguishing one from the other. Sometimes they are combined because people see them as synonyms of each other.

myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) - A disease often marked by neurological symptoms, but fatigue is sometimes a symptom as well. Some diagnostic criteria distinguish it from chronic fatigue syndrome, while other diagnostic criteria consider it to be a synonym for chronic fatigue syndrome. A defining characteristic of ME is post-exertional malaise (PEM), or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), which is a notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small exertions. PEM can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain (myalgia), trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, among others. An estimated 25% of those suffering from ME are housebound or bedbound. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ME as a neurological disease.

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.
From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history.