In the Chronic Fatigue Clinic patients receive a detailed and thorough assessment of their complaint, to allow the doctor to discover the underlying cause(s) of the patient’s fatigue. This detailed assessment is essential in chronic fatigue assessment and treatment. The assessment takes the form of the doctor taking a detailed history, performing a comprehensive examination and then ordering appropriate investigations for that patient. It should be remembered that 80% of the doctor’s information used to arrive at a diagnosis, comes from the patient history. Investigations, such as blood test and imaging, add relatively little information to the overall clinical picture. Hence the doctor will spend most of his time listening to the patient’s complaint, in order to obtain this important clinical information...
Once this assessment is completed, the doctor can usually diagnose one or several underlying conditions causing or contributing to the patient’s fatigue. Once these diagnoses have been made, the doctor will tailor an appropriate management plan for that patient’s list of diagnosis.
It is because the above process is time consuming and cannot easily be performed in the usual 10-15 minute general practice appointment slots, we have set up our dedicated Chronic Fatigue Clinic. Appointments at this clinic are of 30 minutes duration. Most chronic fatigue patients can be assessed, investigated, diagnosed and provided with a treatment plan over three such appointments. Complex patients may require additional appointments.
Many chronic fatigue patients have availed themselves of alternatives treatments, by the time they present for formal medical assessment of their fatigue. The Chronic Fatigue Clinic utilizes an evidence based, best practice medical model. The clinic generally does not recommend alternative or complimentary treatments that are not evidence based. Patients that insist on alternative or complimentary treatments are generally supported in their choice, provided that those alternative or complimentary treatments are safe and not unreasonably expensive.