T.E. Davenport, PT, DPT, OCS, is Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Ave, Stockton, CA 95211 (USA).
Todd E. Davenport, Staci R. Stevens, Mark J. VanNess, Christopher R. Snell, Tamara Little; Conceptual Model for Physical Therapist Management of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Phys Ther 2010; 90 (4): 602-614. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20090047
Fatigue is one of the most common reasons why people consult health care providers. Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) is one cause of clinically debilitating fatigue. The underdiagnosis of CFS/ME, along with the spectrum of symptoms that represent multiple reasons for entry into physical therapy settings, places physical therapists in a unique position to identify this health condition and direct its appropriate management. The diagnosis and clinical correlates of CFS/ME are becoming better understood, although the optimal clinical management of this condition remains controversial. The 4 aims of this perspective article are: (1) to summarize the diagnosis of CFS/ME with the goal of promoting the optimal recognition of this condition by physical therapists; (2) to discuss aerobic system and cognitive deficits that may lead to the clinical presentation of CFS/ME; (3) to review the evidence for graded exercise with the goal of addressing limitations in body structures and functions, activity, and participation in people with CFS/ME; and (4) to present a conceptual model for the clinical management of CFS/ME by physical therapists.