Tell HHS What You Think of the IOM Committee’s Proposed Name for the Disease Currently Called “ME/CFS”

resized_Woman on Laptop





This page provides information about a short survey designed to evaluate a proposed new name for the disease that the U.S. government is currently calling ME/CFS.

On February 10, a report on this disease from a committee of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) was released.

One of the recommendations was that the term SEID (systemic exertion intolerance disease) be used as the new name for the disease.

The IOM recommendations will not automatically be adopted. It is up to the government to decide what happens.

For instance, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) spokesperson Dr. Nancy Lee commented on the report, “We are committed to working with our Federal partners, stakeholders, and experts in the field, as well as with the HHS Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee, to review the report’s recommendations and appropriate next steps.”

The sole goal of this survey project is to collect input on what patients, advocates, professionals and others think of the proposed name.

Deciding on a different name is not a goal of this particular survey. If appropriate, that will be done in a follow-up survey.

The findings of this survey will be sent to individuals at HHS (including Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell) for their review.

In addition, the survey findings will be sent to the members of CFSAC (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee to HHS), so that the committee will be more able to make an appropriate recommendation to HHS about what to do about the name.

Hopefully the results will provide HHS with valuable information that will make it more likely that an appropriate decision about the name is made.

The findings also will be shared with other government officials (such as those from the NIH and CDC) and with the media (via ME Advocacy’s PR firm, Crowds on Demand).

In order for this survey to be effective at influencing policy, a high level of participation is very important.

Please share the survey as widely as possible and ask others to fill it out!


A preview of the survey questions is on this website page.


Following is some more information on the survey:

* The deadline for survey responses is March 1.

* The survey is estimated by Survey Gizmo to take four minutes to fill out.

* Anyone can participate in the survey. This includes people with ME and/or CFS; people with other chronic neuroimmune illnesses; researchers; clinicians; advocates; and the general public.

* Views of these different groups will be analyzed in a way that they can be presented as separate from one another in the final report.

* The survey is presented jointly by ME Advocacy and Paradigm Change.

* If anyone has trouble filling out the survey in the format provided, we will be happy to send you the text via email so that you can type in your answers and send them back to us via email. Your identity will remain confidential and the email will be destroyed after the data is recorded. Please send requests to:  info AT paradigmchange DOT me

* A huge amount of thanks goes out to the many people who made the survey better by taking a preliminary version!

* Those who took a preliminary version of the survey also will need to take the final one to have their answers count. So that they do not need to be rewritten, essay answers received during the development phase are on this page.

* One of the questions on the survey asks about preferred names. Some of the names recently proposed by patients or advocates are listed in this blog post.

* No matter what your feelings about the proposed name, your participation is very important in this effort!


We are very grateful to everyone who participates in this survey project.

Thanks much for helping out by answering the survey and by encouraging others (including healthy family or friends) to participate.



Mary Ann Kindel
ME Advocacy

Lisa Petrison, Ph.D.
Paradigm Change


Like what you’re reading? Sign up for occasional email updates from Paradigm Change.


Any and all civil comments from actual humans not selling commercial products are welcome on this blog.

Thanks much for reading this blog.