First e-training course launched to boost diagnosis of ME

31 May 2013

A groundbreaking e-learning course, designed by researchers from the Universities of Manchester and Keele, is being rolled out across the UK to improve diagnosis of ME.

Experts from the University of Manchester’s METRIC (ME Education, Training and Resources in Primary Care) team designed the online course as part of a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)-funded study. It is now being offered by the Royal College of General Practitioners as part of their online learning after a pilot with GPs in the North West.

ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), affects around 250,000 people in the UK, including men, women and children of all social and ethnic backgrounds including as many as 25,000 young people. But because it is clinically difficult to spot, patients may have symptoms for many years but remain undiagnosed.

Dr Lisa Riste, from METRIC which is also part of the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC), said: “This is the first e-learning course for GPs and it aims to demystify CFS/ME by highlighting common misconceptions and challenges that GPs may encounter when assessing adults presenting with fatigue.

“The course provides clinical scenarios and short films featuring patients, as well as information and resources to help improve knowledge and skills for diagnosing, assessing and managing adults with CFS/ME.”

Professor Carolyn Chew-Graham, a Manchester GP and Professor of General Practice Research at Keele University, added: “North West GPs piloted the e-learning package and reported having a better understanding of ME/CFS and the challenges that surround this complex condition for patients, carers and primary care professionals. We hope this will lead to improved diagnosis and management of people with ME/CFS across the UK.”

METRIC is funded by the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit Programme.

Notes for editors

To access the course, please visit:

For further information contact:
Alison Barbuti, Media Relations Officer
Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences | The University of Manchester
And Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre (MAHSC)
0161 275 8383 / 07887 561 318
The University of Manchester

The University of Manchester, a member of the Russell Group, is one of the largest and most popular universities in the UK. It has 20 academic schools and hundreds of specialist research groups undertaking pioneering multi-disciplinary teaching and research of worldwide significance. According to the results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, The University of Manchester is one of the country’s major research institutions, rated third in the UK in terms of ‘research power’. The University has an annual income of £807 million and is ranked 40th in the world and fifth in the UK for the quality of its teaching and impact of its research.

National Institute for Health Research

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further information, visit the NIHR website (