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A pilot study of cognitive behavioral therapy in fibromyalgia (FM)

  [ 48 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Singh BB, Berman BM, Hadhazy VA, Creamer P • • March 20, 1998

BACKGROUND: Fibromyalgia is a syndrome characterized by
widespread musculoskeletal pain and multiple tender points as
well as high levels of self-reported disability and poor
quality of life.

OBJECTIVES: In this pilot study, a mind-body
approach (cognitive-behavioral therapy) was tested that has
been successful in treating chronic back pain patients to
determine whether it would improve function, decrease
perceived pain, and improve mood state for fibromyalgia

PARTICIPANTS: 28 patients recruited from the greater
Baltimore area.

INTERVENTION: Eight weekly sessions, 2 1/2
hours each, with three components: an educational component
focusing on the mind-body connection, a portion focusing on
relaxation response mechanisms (primarily mindfulness
meditation techniques), and a qigong movement therapy session.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Data collection instruments were the
Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, the Health Assessment
Questionnaire, the Beck Depression Inventory, the Coping
Strategies Questionnaire, the helplessness subscale of the
Arthritis Attitudes Index, the Medical Outcomes Study Short
Form General Health Survey, and a double-anchored 100-mm
visual analog scale to assess sleep.

RESULTS: Twenty patients
completed the study. Standard outcome measures showed
significant reduction in pain, fatigue, and sleeplessness; and
improved function, mood state, and general health following an
8-week intervention.

CONCLUSION: A mind-body intervention
including patient education, meditation techniques, and
movement therapy appears to be an effective adjunctive therapy
for patients with fibromyalgia.

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