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Affective distress in fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome is associated with pain severity

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By Walter B, Vaitl D, Frank R • www.ProHealth.com • April 15, 1998


OBJECTIVE: Comparison of low back pain (LBP) patients with and
without fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) with regard to affective
distress.

METHODS: Patients with LBP who had been admitted to
various clinics in Germany were examined upon admission.
Comparisons were done by dividing the patients into groups
with and without signs of FMS. Additionally, both groups were
compared after being matched according to sex, age, and pain
severity.

RESULTS: 15 out of 135 LBP patients met the American
College of Rheumatology criteria for fibromyalgia. Patients
with FMS showed remarkably higher levels of pain severity and
affective distress. After controlling for different levels of
pain severity, these pronounced differences disappeared.

CONCLUSION: Affective distress is not a unique feature of FMS,
but seem to be caused entirely by higher levels of pain
severity.




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