The aim of the study is to develop knowledge about recovery from CFS/ME. We plan to explore former patient’s experiences of recovery and how patients, previous patients and healthcare professionals interpret and understand this recovery process.
There is disagreement about how CFS/ME should be explained, identified, and classified. Patient information is often lacking or confusing, vague, or incomprehensible. Patients receive an uncertain and often poor prognosis and the message conveyed is that there is no known cause or cure. In contrast to this pessimistic picture of an incurable chronic disease, there are increasing awareness of patients who recover completely or to a large extent regain their former function and quality of life. However, there are scarce studies addressing the recovery process.
By studying experience and understanding of recovery, we aim to develop new knowledge about CFS/ME, of trajectory, recovery, and possible influencing factors. Plausible turning points can be applied in later development of treatment programmes and intervention studies. We will also explore understandings and interpretations hold by healthcare personnel. Patient’s expectation of the course and hope for improvement are influenced by healthcare professionals' knowledge, understanding, and beliefs about the disease. The polarised debate about CFS/ME and what appears to be incompatible views, may also affect the actual course of the disease, the helpers’ ability to help and the patients' ability to help themselves. A deeper insight into understandings and perceptions of illness and recovery can help to clarify conflict lines and the essence of the discourse.