Programme helps fatigue sufferers
Those in the Wellington area suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome are being given a better opportunity to fight the illness.
A pathway developed by clinicians at Capital & Coast District Health Board will allow separate specialties to work closely together to help the patient recover.
Chronic fatigue syndrome affects up to 20,000 people of all ages, socioeconomic and ethnic groups in New Zealand.
‘‘It’s an overwhelming sense of fatigue, where a person’s everyday function is impacted,’’ said clinical psychologist Matthew Leaver.
The pathway allows physiotherapists and psychologists to work separately with the patient, but they can then share information with each other.
Leaver said the specialties worked well together to speed up the recovery process.
‘‘ We deal with the psychological effects of having chronic fatigue syndrome and motivate people to get involved with physiotherapy,’’ he said.
The physiotherapy programme involves stabilising the patients’ physical activity, followed by gradual planned increases to extend their physical functioning beyond their current ability.
Physiotherapist Vanessa Simpson said the plan was helping patients feel stronger and healthier, and more in control of their situation.
‘‘One patient said to me following completion of the programme that she now liked exercise as opposed to fearing it,’’ Simpson said.
Physiotherapy clinics are being run in Wellington, Kenepuru and Kapiti.