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Survey of Physiotherapy University Courses

One of our main aims is to improve education for physiotherapists about ME. In order to do this we first needed to understand the current landscape, so we have surveyed universities providing physiotherapy courses to find out if, and how, ME is covered.


With support from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy we sent out a survey.


Approximately 56% of schools responded to the survey. Of those who replied, less than half (46%) include teaching on ME within their physiotherapy course.


The majority (55%) of courses who include ME spend between 1-2 hours on the disease within the three year course.The type of information taught was inconsistent between courses, varying from following current NICE Guidelines with a psychosocial approach, through to holistic multi-disciplinary management and discussion of the controversy around GET.


This data highlights the lack of education for trainee physios about ME, and the contradictory information being taught across the country. We hope to influence the inclusion of ME in physiotherapy undergraduate courses going forwards.


For qualified therapists this lack of training is problematic as people with ME are seen in paediatrics, community, musculoskeletal and neurological physiotherapy practice. Treatments need to be adapted even when not treating ME directly.


It is our professional responsibility to keep up-to-date with the latest research. Physios need to be aware of the latest biomedical research related to ME beyond the outdated NICE guidelines.


First published online 12 January 2020

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