We offer an evidence-based, individualised rehabilitation programme to address the impact that fatigue has on you physically, cognitively and emotionally. With an emphasis on self management you will be taught techniques and strategies to manage and reduce your specific symptoms, including activity management and graded exercise therapy whilst incorporating the use of a cognitive behavioural therapy approach.
ASSIST Programme for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Prior to attending North West Fatigue Clinic, your GP will have established whether you are suffering from a medical condition which has fatigue as one of its symptoms. Consequently you may have been diagnosed with a specific condition known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome CFS/ME where the fatigue has persisted for longer than 6 months.
Currently there is no specific diagnostic test for CFS/ME, however there is a process which includes a variety of blood tests, liver function tests and routine biochemistry tests that your GP should have arranged prior to your attendance at the clinic. The results of these can enable the exclusion of around 40 other conditions that can cause fatigue. This exclusion, together with your fatigue persisting for 6 months or more, would probably result in a diagnosis of CFS/ME.
Following an initial assessment, an experienced therapist will work with you to create a personal, evidence-based programme to be used throughout your rehabilitation in order to maximise your recovery. A patient-led approach, incorporating a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approach, will be used to address the impact that CFS/ME has on you from a physical, cognitive and emotional perspective. There will be an emphasis on self-management through the teaching of techniques and strategies to manage and reduce your symptoms. The techniques may include activity management, pacing and graded exercise therapy alongside relaxation and mindfulness.
As CFS/ME is a complex condition we begin your treatment at North West Fatigue Clinic with a master class to inform you about CFS/ME and the ASSIST programme that we use to facilitate your recovery. The information given during the master class will help you to make an informed choice as to whether our therapy programme and approach suits your individual needs. We welcome a family member or friend/ carer to accompany you to the master class, providing them with an opportunity to understand CFS/ME and how they can support you during your treatment.
What is the ASSIST Programme?
North West Fatigue Clinic has devised the ASSIST
rehabilitation programme so that your therapist can work in partnership with you to maximise your recovery, adapting the programme to meet your specific needs.
During your therapy sessions you will gain an understanding of your fatigue and be taught how to APPLY
evidence-based strategies to your everyday life.
Together with your specialist therapist you will learn how to manage and reduce your symptoms, whilst increasing your tolerance to activities, enabling you to ACHIEVE
your desired goals.
Treatment & Interventions
The therapist offering treatment for CFS/ME helps the person to manage their physical, cognitive or emotional symptoms through the use of activity. The person sets their own activity goals which are analysed by the therapist and graded to a level which is achievable, before gradually increasing the activities. This enables the person to improve, restore and/or maintain their level of functioning and well-being in all areas of their life.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
A collaborative treatment approach that helps a person understand how thoughts and feelings can influence their behaviour.
In CFS/ME, it is used to reduce the level of symptoms, disability and distress caused by the condition.
Although CBT is an evidence-based psychological therapy, that does not mean that CFS/ME is considered in any way to be a psychological illness.
In the treatment of CFS/ME, adaptive pacing therapy is used to enable a person to plan and monitor their activities in order to manage their energy levels. The intention is to balance activity with rest in order to avoid the exacerbation of fatigue and other symptoms.
A period of time when a person is awake but not engaged in any form of activity, whether it is physical, cognitive or emotional.
Rest periods are considered to be essential in the treatment and management of CFS/ME.
Experiencing an increase in symptoms, which consequently impacts on the level of functioning.
A lot of people experience Covid-19 as a brief & mild illness, however some are left with persistent symptoms including fatigue which differs significantly from normal tiredness and can last for months. This form of post viral fatigue has been named as Long Covid, and although the common feature is fatigue, other symptoms can be present such as breathlessness, joint pain, muscle aches, headaches, sore throat, persistent cough, loss of appetite, loss of smell and taste and many more.
We are experienced in treating post viral fatigue and see this form as being no different. Lots of different factors affect fatigue therefore our rehabilitation programme addresses: activity management – prioritising, planning and pacing; anxiety/stress management – looking at your thoughts and feelings and teaching you relaxation strategies; regulating your sleep; enabling you to set and achieve your goals; advising how to manage setbacks; helping you to return to work – liaising with employers and devising a phased return to work, and much more.