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1.  Social support needs for equity in health and social care: a thematic analysis of experiences of people with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis 
Background
Needs-based resource allocation is fundamental to equitable care provision, which can meet the often-complex, fluctuating needs of people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME). This has posed challenges both for those providing and those seeking support providers, in building shared understanding of the condition and of actions to address it. This qualitative study reports on needs for equity in health and social care expressed by adults living with CFS/ME.
Methods
The participants were 35 adults with CFS/ME in England, purposively selected to provide variation in clinical presentations, social backgrounds and illness experiences. Accounts of experienced needs and needs-related encounters with health and social services were obtained through a focus group (n = 6) and semi-structured interviews (n = 35). These were transcribed and needs related topics identified through data-led thematic analysis.
Findings
Participants emphasised needs for personalised, timely and sustained support to alleviate CFS/ME impacts and regain life control, in three thematic areas: (1) Illness symptoms, functional limitations and illness management; (2) practical support and social care; (3) financial support. Access of people with CFS/ME to support from health and social services was seen to be constrained by barriers stemming from social, cultural, organisational and professional norms and practices, further heightened for disadvantaged groups including some ethnic minorities. These reduced opportunities for their illness to be explained or associated functional limitations and social disadvantages to be addressed through social support. Participants sought more understanding of bio-psycho-social aspects of CFS/ME, of felt needs of people with CFS/ME and of human rights and disability rights, for providing person-centred, equitable care.
Conclusions
Changes in attitudes of health practitioners, policy makers and general public and more flexibly organised health and social care provision are needed to address equity issues in support needs expressed by people with CFS/ME, to be underpinned by research-based knowledge and communication, for public and professional education. Policy development should include shared decision-making and coordinated action across organizations working for people with CFS/ME, human rights and disadvantaged groups. Experiences of people with CFS/ME can usefully inform an understanding of equity in their health and social care.
doi:10.1186/1475-9276-10-46
PMCID: PMC3229491  PMID: 22044797
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis; thematic analysis; social support; experiences; recognition; social welfare
2.  The expressed needs of people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: A systematic review 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:458.
Background
We aimed to review systematically the needs for support in managing illness and maintaining social inclusion expressed by people with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME)
Methods
We carried out a systematic review of primary research and personal ('own') stories expressing the needs of people with CFS/ME. Structured searches were carried out on Medline, AMED, CINAHL, EMBASE, ASSIA, CENTRAL, and other health, social and legal databases from inception to November 2007. Study inclusion, data extraction and risk of bias were assessed independently in duplicate. Expressed needs were tabulated and a conceptual framework developed through an iterative process.
Results
Thirty two quantitative and qualitative studies, including the views of over 2500 people with CFS/ME with mainly moderate or severe illness severity, met the inclusion criteria. The following major support needs emerged: 1) The need to make sense of symptoms and gain diagnosis, 2) for respect and empathy from service providers, 3) for positive attitudes and support from family and friends, 4) for information on CFS/ME, 5) to adjust views and priorities, 6) to develop strategies to manage impairments and activity limitations, and 7) to develop strategies to maintain/regain social participation.
Conclusions
Although the studies were heterogeneous, there was consistent evidence that substantial support is needed to rebuild lives. Gaining support depends - most importantly - on the ability of providers of health and social care, colleagues, friends and relatives, and those providing educational and leisure services, to understand and respond to those needs.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-9-458
PMCID: PMC2799412  PMID: 20003363
3.  Survey of rehabilitation support for children 0–15 years in a rural part of Kenya 
Disability and Rehabilitation  2013;36(12):1033-1041.
Purpose
Information regarding the nature, availability and distribution of rehabilitation services for children with disabilities across developing countries is scarce, and data that do exist are of variable quality. If planning and development are to progress, information about service provision is vital. The aim was to establish the scope and nature of rehabilitation support available to children with disabilities (0–15 years) and their families in rural Kenya.
Method
A comprehensive sample comprising service provision in the health and special education sectors was established. Non-governmental and community-based organisations were also included. A survey of rehabilitation services was conducted through examination of service-related documentation and key informant interviews with the heads of services.
Results
Rehabilitation comprised hospital-based occupational therapy, physiotherapy and orthopaedic technology; and seven special education establishments plus an education assessment resource centre. There was one non-government organisation and one community-based organisation relevant to children with disabilities. Activities focused on assessment, diagnosis and raising community awareness. Provision was challenged by inadequate staffing, resources and transport. Government funding was supplemented variously by donations and self-sufficiency initiatives. Rehabilitation approaches appeared to be informed by professional background of practitioner, rather than the needs of child. Service documentation revealed use of inconsistent recording methods.
Conclusions
The data highlight the challenges of rehabilitation, demanding greater investment in personnel and their training, more material resources, improved access to the community and better recording mechanisms.
Implications for Rehabilitation
There needs to be greater investment in rehabilitation provision in developing countries.
Consideration of community-based initiatives is required to support better access for all.
In order to argue the case for improved resources, better skills and mechanisms for recording, monitoring and evaluating practice are needed.
doi:10.3109/09638288.2013.829524
PMCID: PMC4086233  PMID: 23991677
Childhood disability; developing country; Kenya; situation analysis

Results 1-3 (3)