What Nurses Know...Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Overview

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is sometimes dismissed as an "all in your head" illness. There are no tests or other physical signs to diagnose CFS/ME. A diagnosis is given when a health care practitioner has ruled out other causes for the cluster of symptoms. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention considers CFS/ME to be a real and debilitating illness. Still individuals with this disease remain frustrated by the lack of belief and support from health care providers, families, and friends. They continually ...
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Overview

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is sometimes dismissed as an "all in your head" illness. There are no tests or other physical signs to diagnose CFS/ME. A diagnosis is given when a health care practitioner has ruled out other causes for the cluster of symptoms. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention considers CFS/ME to be a real and debilitating illness. Still individuals with this disease remain frustrated by the lack of belief and support from health care providers, families, and friends. They continually doubt themselves and ask "What's wrong with me?", "Am I crazy?", "Am I imagining these problems?"

Bringing validation to the on million sufferers of CFS/ME What Nurses Know...Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sheds new light on this condition and its symptoms from a trusted source: nurses. Simply organized and clearly written What Nurses Know...Chronic Fatigue Syndrome provides individuals, their families, friends, caregivers and healthcare practitioners the answers they need and want.

Special Features Include

  • Numerous call-out boxes with "What Nurses Know"
  • Definitions of common terms
  • Resources, online tools, and specific websites to help those living with chronic fatigue syndrome

About the Series

Nurses hold a critical role in modern health care that goes beyond their day-to-day duties. They share more information with patients than any other provider group, and are alongside patients twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week offering understanding of complex health issues, holistic approaches to ailments, and advice for the patient that extends to the family. Nurses themselves are a powerful tool in the healing process.

The What Nurses Know series gives down-to-earth information, addresses consumers as equal partners in their care and explains clearly what a reader needs to know and wants to know to understand their condition and move forward with their lives.

The What Nurses Know series is organized simply, with call out boxes for "What Nurses Know..." special tips, fun facts and things that only a nurse would know. Personal stories are interspersed throughout, so the reader can easily relate to the books.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Margaret A Holder, PhD (University of North Florida Brooks College of Health)
Description: Written from the perspective not only of those involved in diagnosing and treating chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), but also of those who are living with this condition, this book provides valuable insights. Comments from those who have CFS describing how it has affected them and how they have found some hope and solace are interspersed throughout.
Purpose: It provides patients and their families with information to assist them in maximizing their quality of life, but it also provides the medical and nursing community unique patient insights into the condition. The book is full of useful, pragmatic information to help them care for their patients with CFS.
Audience: It is written for anyone who desires information about dealing with CFS. It is useful for the nursing and medical community because of the insights it provides as well as being a useful guide for treatment. For lay readers, it addresses what they need to know to overcome barriers while addressing their physical and emotional concerns. The author has vast experience with CFS, both as a nurse and as a mother of a child who has CFS.
Features: After explaining CFS and how is it diagnosed, the book focuses on supportive care, including alternative and complementary therapies. Throughout, it stresses how to deal with the physical and emotional unpredictability of this condition. An entire chapter covers current treatments and care, including organizations and advocacy groups dedicated to assist patients and families dealing with CFS. Personal comments from those who experience CFS daily help all readers better understand the complexities of CFS.
Assessment: This is a compelling statement about what CFS is and the impact it has on daily life for those who have it. It sheds light on a frequently misunderstood and/or disregarded condition. The book addresses this condition from the most informative and pragmatic perspective for those caring for patients with, or impacted by, CFS.
From The Critics
Reviewer: Margaret A Holder, PhD(University of North Florida Brooks College of Health)
Description: Written from the perspective not only of those involved in diagnosing and treating chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), but also of those who are living with this condition, this book provides valuable insights. Comments from those who have CFS describing how it has affected them and how they have found some hope and solace are interspersed throughout.
Purpose: It provides patients and their families with information to assist them in maximizing their quality of life, but it also provides the medical and nursing community unique patient insights into the condition. The book is full of useful, pragmatic information to help them care for their patients with CFS.
Audience: It is written for anyone who desires information about dealing with CFS. It is useful for the nursing and medical community because of the insights it provides as well as being a useful guide for treatment. For lay readers, it addresses what they need to know to overcome barriers while addressing their physical and emotional concerns. The author has vast experience with CFS, both as a nurse and as a mother of a child who has CFS.
Features: After explaining CFS and how is it diagnosed, the book focuses on supportive care, including alternative and complementary therapies. Throughout, it stresses how to deal with the physical and emotional unpredictability of this condition. An entire chapter covers current treatments and care, including organizations and advocacy groups dedicated to assist patients and families dealing with CFS. Personal comments from those who experience CFS daily help all readers better understand the complexities of CFS.
Assessment: This is a compelling statement about what CFS is and the impact it has on daily life for those who have it. It sheds light on a frequently misunderstood and/or disregarded condition. The book addresses this condition from the most informative and pragmatic perspective for those caring for patients with, or impacted by, CFS.
From the Publisher
"Registered nurse Steefel’s daughter was diagnosed with CFS at age 12, and the author uses her experiences and those of other sufferers to inform readers about the disease, its symptoms, and possible therapies. Steefel explains alternative treatments such as acupuncture, massage, yoga, and tai chi and suggests strategies for managing daily life. Working with one’s health-care team, keeping detailed personal health records, and finding an advocate are stressed. With a glossary and resource listing...this is a good, basic text on a frustrating disease."—Library Journal

"...full of advice and wisdom from many accomplished nurses on how to better deal with with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, to make the condition liveable ith and beatable so that one does not have to shut down their entire lives. Sage and much recommended reading..."—The Bookwatch

"Lorraine in What Nurses Know; Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, addresses what patients with CFS need to know in order to maximize their quality of life. Biomedical research needs to better define the cause, or more likely the causes, Medical Doctors should diagnosis (not disregard) and treat the multiple symptoms of CFS, but it is the nurse who best explains and cares most for the patient with chronic medical illnesses like CFS. Lorraine provides the information she has learned as a nurse and medical writer with the compassion of a mother who has cared for her child with CFS.”—James M. Oleske, MD, MPH, François-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of Pediatrics, Director, Division of Pediatrics Allergy, Immunology & Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey

"What Nurses Know: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, is a valuable contribution that will be welcomed by nurse practitioners and their patients. In the increasingly critical role that nurses hold in modern health care, this book is an important addition to their clinical tool kit. Steefel emphasizes the importance of knowledge, self-advocacy, and symptom management. Her work addresses the physical and emotional concerns of CFS, acting as a compassionate guide for patients and families.”—Patricia A. Fennell, MSW, LCSW-R, CEO, Albany Health Management Associates, Inc.

“Those looking for an introduction to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome will find much useful information in this book.”—Bruce Campbell, PhD, Founder & Executive Director, CFIDS & Fibromyalgia Self-Help Program

Library Journal
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) was for years regarded as a phantom or psychosomatic disease. This volume, sixth in the "What Nurses Know" series, provides basic information for those just diagnosed with CFS. There are no definitive clinical signs or available diagnostic tests for CFS, so other diseases must be ruled out before a diagnosis can be made. Finding a qualified clinician who will treat the patient seriously can be a major challenge. Registered nurse Steefel's daughter was diagnosed with CFS at age 12, and the author uses her experiences and those of other sufferers to inform readers about the disease, its symptoms, and possible therapies. Steefel explains alternative treatments such as acupuncture, massage, yoga, and tai chi and suggests strategies for managing daily life. Working with one's health-care team, keeping detailed personal health records, and finding an advocate are stressed. With a glossary and resource listing. VERDICT Despite an overabundance of acronyms (and they are not all listed in the glossary), this is a good, basic text on a frustrating disease.—Janet M. Schneider, James A. Haley Veterans Hosp., Tampa
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932603873
  • Publisher: Demos Medical Publishing, LLC
  • Publication date: 9/15/2011
  • Series: What Nurses Know...
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Lorraine Steefel's interest in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) developed when her daughter Trisha was diagnosed at age 12 with the illness. As a parent and an RN, she searched for information necessary to help her daughter cope with and manage it. She became a volunteer trainer in the program "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): A Diagnostic & Management Challenge," prepared and sponsored by the CFIDS Association of America, and presented this program to RNs and other healthcare professionals across the country. She became a member of and volunteer for the NJCFSA, Inc. (New Jersey CFS Association), on whose behalf she has provided talks to healthcare groups and the general public. Her factsheet Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Information for Family, Friends and Caregivers appears on the organization's website.

Lorraine is a professional writer, published widely in various publications including: Clinical Nurses Specialist: The Journal for Advanced Nursing Practice; RN; Creative Nursing: A Journal of Values, Issues, Experience & Collaboration; Nursing Spectrum; Healthcare Travel; Alternative and Complementary Therapies; New Jersey Monthly; Ophthalmology Times; as well as in newspapers and in healthcare websites online.

As an adjunct assistant professor in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at UMDNJ School of Nursing, Newark, NJ, a major portion of her time is spent assisting nursing faculty members and students to write for scholarly publications. A 2009 graduate of the DNP program at UMDNJ School of Nursing, Lorraine earned her MSN from Kean University, Union, NJ and MA from The New Jersey City University, Jersey City, NJ. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, from St. Joseph College, Emmitsburg, MD; an A.A.S. in Nursing from Maria College, Albany, NY; a NJ school nurse certification from The College of NJ, Ewing, NJ; an advanced certification in Transcultural Nursing (CTN-A) from the Transcultural Nurses Society, Livonia, MI; and a certificate in journalism from New York University. She is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, the National League for Nursing, the American Nursing Association, and the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. She serves on the Boards of the New Jersey League for Nursing and the Transcultural Nursing Society, New Jersey Chapter. She is the diversity editor for The Journal of the Philippine Nurses Association of America and serves on the Editorial Board of Creative Nursing: A Journal of Values, Issues, Experience & Collaboration.

Lorraine lives in Morganville, NJ, with her husband Peter. She has two adult children, Kimberly and Trisha, and son-in-law, Russ.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction
1 What is CFS
2 Getting a Diagnosis
3 CFS Symptoms
4 Your Health Care Team
5 Save Energy, Keep up With Living, Prevent Postexertional Malaise
6 Feelings, Mood Swings, and Depression
7 Medical Treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
8 Alternative Approaches
9 The Importance of Advocacy
10 Looking Ahead: Living With Chronic Illness
Glossary
Resources
Bibliography
Index
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