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Work disability evaluation & the fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome

  [ 76 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
www.ProHealth.com • June 3, 1995


Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a common and costly cause of work
disability. Patients with FMS, nevertheless, encounter
considerable difficulties in their assessment of claims for
disability payments. Factors that contribute to FMS as an
important cause of disability are its high prevalence, the
patients' perception of severe discomfort, and poor function.

Disability evaluation in FMS is controversial for several
reasons including lack of acceptance of the diagnosis,
concurrent psychological abnormalities, difficulties in
objectifying disability, deficiencies in instruments of
evaluation, the uncertain efficacy of treatment, and physician
attitudes. Third parties appear to have inappropriate
expectations of the physician's role in determining
disability.

We suggest that the process of disability evaluation
be improved by more objective assessments and by
the inclusion of other health professionals in assessing
disability and necessary retraining. Further research is
needed to develop better instruments for measuring disability,
to assess the long-term effects of various treatments, and to
clarify the contributions of the work place and of
compensation in causing or aggravating FMS.

White KP, Harth M, Teasell RW




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