Replenish-ME was a project designed to help those diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) develop a greater understanding of how their day-to-day activities impact on their health and levels of energy. It formed part of our wider Future Challenges programme.
The project – which has now been completed – brought the Bath Centre for Fatigue Services (BCFS) together with innovator KiActiv® . By using KiActiv® Health technology to support the BCFS programme, the project’s goal was to provide a way to more objectively track a person’s physical activity levels, in order to support and enable patients to better manage their condition.
How the programme worked
The Bath Centre for Fatigue Services (BCFS) is a nationally recognised centre of clinical excellence and offers a six-week supported self-management programme, through which patients are enabled to better manage their condition using a biopsychosocial approach. Subjective, self-reporting of activity is integral to this programme.
Since March 2020, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the format of the BCFS programme was altered, enabling those referred to the service to follow this same self-management programme through phone call or video conferencing.
Using the KiActiv® Health technology to objectively track daily physical activities, the aim was to identify factors, incidences or patterns that the patient may not necessarily recognise through subjective self-reporting. This was to provide additional data to support activity analysis sessions provided as part of the BCFS treatment programme.
KiActiv® Health is a guided online programme that includes a personal interactive dashboard, a validated physical activity monitor, and remote support from a trained KiActiv® Mentor. Participants receive six phone calls with a KiActiv® Mentor at key times during the 12 weeks. The calls help participants build an understanding of the value of their daily activities and the confidence to plan, monitor and make the most of their available energy, without compulsion or prescription.
The KiActiv® Health programme ran alongside the BCFS programmes for 12 weeks. It was anticipated that engagement with the personalised dashboard, supported by calls with their dedicated mentor would help participants to build confidence in monitoring, assessing and balancing their own physical activity levels. At the end of the 12 weeks the participants were able to retain access to the activity monitors and their personal dashboards. This enabled them to continue to monitor their physical activity levels with the objective of making sustained changes in combination with learning and skills gained from the BCFS programme.
Building an evidence base
Replenish-ME was one of two projects piloted under the theme of ‘Keeping Healthy at Home’ which forms part of the Future Challenges programme. KiActiv® has already been commissioned in Gloucestershire to support people with type 2 diabetes and other long term conditions to increase their physical activity levels. However this is the first time it was used in the NHS to help patients optimise physical activity in order to facilitate better control of their fluctuating energy availability.
Through the Future Challenges programme, we work closely with innovators and local partners including clinicians, commissioners and the chosen trial sites, to pilot their innovations and evaluate them in a real-world setting, building evidence to support possible future commissioning decisions and opportunities. We worked with the South West Academic Health Science Network to independently evaluate this project.
The Replenish-ME pilot is now closed.
Find out about the other Future Challenges projects: