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Quality of well being in patients with fibromyalgia

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www.ProHealth.com • March 6, 2000


OBJECTIVE: The Quality of Well-being Scale (QWB) is a generic measure of health related quality of life that can be used for population monitoring, measurement of clinical outcomes, or cost effectiveness analysis. We report data on the validity of the QWB for patients with fibromyalgia (FM) and compare the effect of FM to that of other chronic diseases.

METHODS: The participants were 594 people recruited from a private health maintenance organization with a confirmed diagnosis of FM. The QWB was administered, along with measures of self-rated health status, physical functioning, pain, stiffness, anxiety, sleep, and depression. The QWB places levels of wellness on a continuum ranging from 0.0 (for death or the equivalent of being dead) to 1.0 (for optimum functioning without symptoms).

RESULTS: Patients with FM had mean QWB scores of 0.559 (SD 0.074), which is lower than scores reported for patients in most other chronic disease categories. QWB was significantly correlated with measures of physical functioning, stiffness, anxiety, depression, pain, and sleep quality.

CONCLUSION: Evidence supports the validity of the QWB for patients with FM. Patients with FM obtain lower scores on the QWB than patients with diagnoses of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, rheumatoid arthritis, atrial fibrillation, advanced cancer, and several other chronic diseases. Although FM is generally considered a syndrome rather than a disease, substantial disability is experienced by people with this diagnosis.

Kaplan RM, Schmidt SM, Cronan TA




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