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Awareness of diagnostic & clinical features of fibromyalgia (FM) among family physicians

  [ 45 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Buskila D, Neumann L, Sibirski D, Shvartzman P • • June 10, 1997

OBJECTIVES: The aim was to assess the awareness and knowledge of
family physicians about diagnostic and clinical features of
fibromyalgia syndrome (FS), and to evaluate the contribution
of rheumatology education to the improvement of this
METHODS: A detailed questionnaire on FS was
completed by 172 family physicians. A composite score, based
on five items, was constructed to quantitatively assess
knowledge of FS (maximum score of 5). A comparison was made
between physicians exposed to extensive education on FS (in
Beer Sheva medical centre) and physicians without such
exposure (in other centres).
RESULTS: Ninety-six per cent of
the physicians claimed to be familiar with FS. They recognized
most of the FS-related symptoms, but had limited knowledge of
the diagnostic criteria, treatment modalities and prognosis.
Only 55% knew that FS is associated with widespread pain and
25% were familiar with the point count criterion. Physicians
trained in Beer Sheva scored significantly higher than those
trained elsewhere: 3.0 +/- 1.2 versus 2.4 +/- 1.2,
respectively (P = 0.006), and their knowledge of FS treatment
was significantly better.
CONCLUSION: Family physicians in
Israel are quite unfamiliar with the diagnostic criteria of
FS, though educational exposure improves their awareness and

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