In this study, researchers from England compared general practitioners' perceptions of chronic fatigue syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome. They evaluated the implications of the general practitioners' perceptions for treatment.
The researcher randomly selected 46 general practitioners in England.
The team found that the study participants tended to stereotype patients with chronic fatigue syndrome as having certain undesirable traits.
They determined that a number of factors led to difficulties for many general practitioners in managing patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.
|Many participants would not consider referral for mental health interventions.|
|British Medical Journal|
The team found that for both conditions many participants would not consider referral for mental health interventions, even though the doctors recognized social and psychological factors. This was because they were not familiar with the interventions or thought them unavailable or unnecessary.
Dr Rosalind Raine and colleagues concluded, "Barriers to the effective clinical management of patients with irritable bowel syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome are partly due to doctors' beliefs".
These, "Result in negative stereotyping of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and the use of management strategies for both syndromes that may not take into account the best available evidence".