Fibromyalgia patients have difficulty coping

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According to a recent study conducted by researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, patients suffering from fibromyalgia have a significantly lower ability to cope with their symptoms than do patients with other rheumatic diseases. According to one of the researchers, Dr. Robert S. Katz, “The intensity of fibromyalgia syndromes can be overwhelming for the fibromylagia patient and their families, and also very challenging for physicians and nurses treating these patients.” The study, with 110 participants, was based on responses from a questionnaire and visual analog scales. The following is an excerpt of an article from Medpage Today that discusses the particulars:

To see whether there were differences in coping skills among patients with rheumatic disease, Dr. Katz and colleagues asked 110 patients with rheumatic disease to fill out a validated 13-item pain-coping scale; 100 of the patients also completed 13 visual analog scales rating how well they handled their symptoms of pain and fatigue.

Fifty of the patients had fibromyalgia, 22 had rheumatoid arthritis, 13 had systemic lupus erythematosus, nine had regional musculoskeletal pain, seven had osteoarthritis, and nine had other inflammatory rheumatic diseases.

The investigators used the nonparametric Mann-Whitney test to compare the rating of patients with fibromyalgia with those of patients with other conditions.

Fibromyalgia patients aside, there were no statistically significant differences among patients in the other disease categories in their self-rating of their ability to cope.

On 11 of the 13 visual analog scales, fibromyalgia patients also reported significantly worse results than others. The items included “worrying about whether their pain will end, thinking their pain is never going to get better, anxiously wanting the pain to go away, thinking about how much their pain hurts, thinking about how badly they want the pain to stop, not being able to stop thinking about their pain, and feeling overwhelmed, unable to go on, fearful the pain will get worse, unable to reduce their pain intensity, and unable to stand their pain.”

Click here to read the entire article from Medpage Today

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