HHS charged the IOM to:
- Conduct a study to identify the evidence for various diagnostic clinical criteria of ME/CFS using a process with stakeholder input, including practicing clinicians and patients;
- Develop evidence-based clinical diagnostic criteria for ME/CFS for use by clinicians, using a consensus-building methodology;
- Recommend whether new terminology for ME/CFS should be adopted;
- Develop an outreach strategy to disseminate the definition nationwide to health professionals.
The IOM delivered the following four recommendations in reply to their charge:
- Recommendation 1: Physicians should diagnose myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome if diagnostic criteria are met following an appropriate history, physical examination, and medical work-up. A new code should be assigned to this disorder in the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10), that is not linked to “chronic fatigue” or “neurasthenia.”
- Recommendation 2: The Department of Health and Human Services should develop a toolkit appropriate for screening and diagnosing patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome in a wide array of clinical settings that commonly encounter these patients, including primary care practices, emergency departments, mental/behavioral health clinics, physical/occupational therapy units, and medical subspecialty services (e.g., rheumatology, infectious diseases, neurology).
- Recommendation 3: A multidisciplinary group should reexamine the diagnostic criteria set forth in this report when firm evidence supports modification to improve the identification or care of affected individuals. Such a group should consider, in no more than 5 years, whether modification of the criteria is necessary. Funding for this update effort should be provided by nonconflicted sources, such as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality through its Evidence-based Practice Centers process, and foundations.
- Recommendation 4: The committee recommends that this disorder be renamed “systemic exertion intolerance disease” (SEID). SEID should replace myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome for patients who meet the criteria set forth in this report.