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The use of videoconferencing for delivering therapy in a Specialist Paediatric Chronic Fatigue Service (2018) Haig-Ferguson et al.

Discussion in 'PsychoSocial ME/CFS Research' started by MeSci, Dec 29, 2018.

  1. MeSci

    MeSci Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Cornwall, UK
    Wasn't sure where to put this (if anywhere):

    Source: Internet Interventions


    Date: December 23, 2018

    URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214782918300642

    'It's not one size fits all'; the use of videoconferencing for delivering therapy in a Specialist Paediatric Chronic Fatigue Service
    Andrew Haig-Ferguson(a,*), Maria Loades(a,b,c), Charlotte Whittle(b), Rebecca Read(b), Nina Higson-Sweeney(b), Lucy Beasant(c), Jennifer Starbuck(a), Esther Crawley(c)

    a Royal United Hospital, Bath, UK

    b Department of Psychology, University of Bath, UK

    c Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, UK

    * Corresponding author. Email: ahaigferguson@gmail.com

    Received 7 September 2018
    Revised 18 December 2018
    Accepted 20 December 2018
    Available online 23 December 2018.



    There are few specialist paediatric Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME) services in the UK. Therefore, the distance some families have to travel to reach these services can be a barrier to accessing evidence-based treatment.

    Videoconferencing technology such as Skype provides a means of delivering sessions remotely. This study aimed to explore the views of children and young people, their parents, and healthcare professionals of treatment delivered by videoconferencing in a specialist paediatric CFS/ME team.


    To explore the experiences of the participants, a qualitative design was selected. Twelve young people (age 9-18), and 6 parents were interviewed about their experience of treatment sessions delivered via videoconferencing within a specialist CFS/ME service. A focus group explored the views of healthcare professionals (N = 9) from the service.

    Thematic analysis was used.


    Three themes were identified from the data: 'Challenges and concerns', 'Benefits' and 'Treatment provision'. Challenges and concerns that participants identified were; difficulties experienced with technology; a sense of a part of communication being lost with virtual connections; privacy issues with communicating online and feeling anxious on a screen.

    Participants felt that benefits of videoconferencing were;

    improving access to the chronic fatigue service; convenience and flexibility of treatment provision; a sense of being more open online and being in the comfort of their own home. In terms of treatment provision participants talked about videoconferencing as a part of a hierarchy of communication; the function of videoconferencing within the context of the chronic fatigue service; additional preparation needed to utilise videoconferencing and an assumption that videoconferencing is 'part of young people's lives'.


    Although the experience of sessions provided by videoconferencing was different to sessions attended in person, participants tended to be positive about videoconferencing as an alternative means of accessing treatment, despite some barriers. Videoconferencing could be an additional option within an individualised care plan, but should not be an alternative to face to face support.

    Keywords: Chronic fatigue syndrome; Myalgic encephalomyelitis; Skype; Video-conferencing; Adolescents
  2. Peter Trewhitt

    Peter Trewhitt Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Although I would agree video conferencing is a potentially very useful tool, indeed it is in my list of things to discus with my GP when/if I get to speak to him, however I remain suspicious of anything emerging from this team.

    The big worry is that it would increase the stranglehold on ME/CFS service provision for children and teenagers by a few very biased specialist services here in the UK
  3. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    UK East Midlands
    Totally agree @Peter Trewhitt its not the technology that’s the issue it’s the BS so called treatment they use it to deliver.
  4. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    "Evidence based" treatment . Hmmm
  5. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting that they conclude it can be a useful addition but should not replace face to face support. Does this mean FITNET is a bad thing since it's supposed to provide services for those who can't access the clinic and claims to be an alternative to face to face treatment.
  6. Cinders66

    Cinders66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    She’s fixed on her talking as treatment ideas then.
  7. EzzieD

    EzzieD Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Exactly what evidence-based treatment would that be, then?
    Still conflating ME/CFS with chronic fatigue, and still pushing her belief that either can actually be 'treated' with talking therapy. And we taxpayers still footing the bill for anti-science and potentially harmful twaddle. There really should be a law that doctors, especially ones claiming to be world-leading researchers as she claims (https://tedxbristol.com/about/person/esther_crawley ), should be obliged to keep up with scientific research outside of their own little bubble.

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