Purpose: Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a debilitating condition characterized by a number of symptoms which typically worsen following minimal exertion. Various strategies to manage the limited energy levels have been proposed. Of these, pacing has been consistently rated as one of the most helpful in surveys conducted by patient groups. This review is a response to the paucity of the information on pacing in the scientific literature.
Method: We describe the principle of pacing and how this can be adapted to meet individual abilities and preferences. A critical evaluation of the research was conducted to ascertain the benefits and limitations of this strategy.
Results: Based on various studies, it is proposed that pacing can help to stabilize the condition and avoid post-exertional malaise.
Conclusion: Pacing offers practitioners an additional therapeutic option which is acceptable to the majority of patients and can reduce the severity of the exertion-related symptoms of ME/CFS.
© 2012 Informa UK, Ltd.