Cardiff University medical student Emilia Allwright tells us about her research project: 

 

In October 2019, I presented a poster for my project at the National RCGP conference. This was a wonderful opportunity to highlight ME/CFS and hopefully lead to changes in care.

As part of my medical degree, in Spring 2019, I spent 6 weeks looking at ‘The Role of the GP in caring for patients with ME/CFS’.

I was touched by the response of the ME/CFS community and so grateful to WAMES for helping me to find participants.

I was able to complete 10 telephone interviews- each participant shared their personal story which provided an amazing volume of data to use.

I went through each interview and identified key ideas and themes that formed my results:

  • Patients would appreciate having a single healthcare practitioner would offer consistent care
  • All but one participant had experienced feeling dismissed by a GP
  • There were examples of positive relationships with GPs where both the patient and GP benefited through working together, but also where relationships had broken down

“They just need to be honest and kind and respectful and together we’ll figure out what the best way forward is.” 

“You hope to have a supportive GP because he will help you, even if he can’t treat you, he will help you.”

“And I just found it too upsetting to keep going because nothing was happening.”

“He’s just been sympathetic to what I’m going through which is a big thing.”

Conclusion:

Overall, my results emphasised the idea that a supportive GP who is honest and open with patients can make a significant impact, regardless of their ability to cure the patient.

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