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Medically unexplained symptoms: assessment and management (2021) Mujtaba Husain and Trudie Chalder

Discussion in 'PsychoSocial ME/CFS Research' started by Esther12, Jan 23, 2021.

  1. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    https://www.rcpjournals.org/content/clinmedicine/21/1/13

    This is barely worth posting, but I read it. It's so basic it felt like it was written for children - is that because it's in a journal for doctors rather than researchers? So many strong assertions ("The first and most important step is a positive diagnosis and explanation of what the diagnosis means") that were then so vague on implementation.

    Table 3 is based on the PRINCE trial's approach to MUS and managing activity: https://www.rcpjournals.org/highwire/markup/11946/expansion?width=1000&height=500&iframe=true&postprocessors=highwire_tables,highwire_reclass,highwire_figures,highwire_math,highwire_inline_linked_media,highwire_embed

    I remember @dave30th writing about some exaggerated claims on this, but I think that this figure is lower than the ones previously used: "PPS are also estimated to account for approximately 10% of total NHS expenditure for the working-age population in England.7"
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
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  2. Hutan

    Hutan Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not surprised. The whole premise is at that level.

    Really, only three questions are required for diagnosis:
    1. Do you have any symptoms? If yes, go to 2.
    2. Have they been persistent? If yes, go to 3.
    3. Can I explain all your persistent symptoms with my limited understanding of the current body of bio-medical knowledge (possibly made more limited by a lack of time or interest to take a proper history, and lack of authority or interest to order tests)? If no, inform the patient that they have PPS or MUS.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
  3. dave30th

    dave30th Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    This paper is part of a whole special issue on functional disorders, I think. That figure is a slight misstatement of what the paper said. In the working age population, 11 % of total NHS expenditures is spent on those in that age group with PPS or MUS. That's not to say that all the expenditures were for MUS, although most probably were. The mistake was that Chalder & her colleagues kept writing that these costs accounted for 11% of the cost for the total NHS population, which was about three times as large as for the total costs just for the working-age population.
     
  4. Sean

    Sean Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  5. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It is produced by the Royal College of Physicians and is clearly intended as curricular material for trainee physicians. Which makes it a catastrophe. Medicine based on the blind leading the blind.
     
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  6. Joan Crawford

    Joan Crawford Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    ("The first and most important step is a positive diagnosis and explanation of what the diagnosis means")

    So, diagnosing a non-diagnosis (by definition) of MUS is the best and sparkliest thing for our trainee physicians. Pretty patronising to patients and the trainee physicians
     
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  7. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Indeed: 'The first thing to learn in medicine is how to make things up without letting on - how to bullshit professionally.'
     
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  8. Joan Crawford

    Joan Crawford Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Ha ha start them young
     
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  9. strategist

    strategist Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I'm sure this is all supported by good science and not a confusion of consequences of illness with cause of illness. :rolleyes:
     
  10. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Looking at the blurb for the magazine is pretty dispiriting. It is indeed for children. The mission statement includes:

    peer-reviewed journal of the Royal College of Physicians, Clinical Medicine (ClinMed) publishes advances in general and specialist medicine and authoritative reviews ... it particularly encourages submissions from trainees and early-career researchers who wish to build their publication portfolio.

    I.e. it publishes authoritative reviews by trainees who know nothing much about their subject. Maybe that is who the first author is here. I have always been appalled by the tradition in medicine to get trainees to write review articles so that they can polish their CV (openly admitted as the aim here). Usually there is also a senior author who is happy to tag their name on to her enlarge their publication list to 900.

    I see that the editor in chief is at UCH.I have met him. He seemed pleasant but I had a suspicion he was tied up with 'functional' diagnoses in a muddled sort of way.
     
  11. FMMM1

    FMMM1 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I assume I'm missing something here but wouldn't it be better to try to understand what the underlying problem is and treat it? E.g. if there's a shed load of money, to investigate an apparent case of MUS - say in the US or a wealthy country where money is no object - and it turns out that MUS was actually a biomedical problem "X", then find a biomarker for "X" and see how many MUS are actually explained by "X". OK it may not be that simple e.g. MUS may be many things (rare diseases) and understanding a particular case may be extremely difficult. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) might turn up something but if MUS is many things then I guess that is really difficult (finding suitable controls).
     
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  12. Hutan

    Hutan Moderator Staff Member

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    That worked really well when access to medical knowledge was tightly restricted.

    I wonder how big an impact google, social media and patient forums are having on the ability of doctors, and especially GPs, to bullshit and not get caught out, and what that might eventually mean for MUS. The doctor might be right 99 times out of a hundred, but the one time they clearly make things up could not only severely erode the faith their patient has in them, but (after the bullshit has been tweeted about globally) cause a loss of prestige for the profession as a whole.

    Arguably, that is what is happening for ME/CFS, with the result that guidelines are changing and new treatment trials of MUS participants don't include people with a 'primary' diagnosis of CFS
     
  13. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    Just checked - the first author is a Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust which is where Chalder is also based as well as being a professor of CBT at Kings'.

    I've just read it. The first part is surely at the level of introductory case history taking for medical students, not for qualified physicians, then there's all the usual unfounded claims about MUS having a large psychological component, and the latter part is the usual 'all roads lead to CBT'.

    What a disaster.
     
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  14. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I don't know. Children usually have mastered object permanence. This is more at the toddler level, "if you don't test for it, you have zero cases".
     
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