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Fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome: assessment of the severity of the condition 2 years after diagnosis

  [ 37 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • March 3, 1994

OBJECTIVE. To review the outcome of patients with fibromyalgia
syndrome (FMS) diagnosed and treated with minimal intervention
in community rheumatology practice.

METHODS. Forty-four
ambulant patients with FMS, first seen in a 2-month period and
treated with a simple management program, were identified and
reviewed 2 years after diagnosis. A variety of clinical and
psychological features were assessed using standard

RESULTS. Forty-seven percent no longer fulfilled
Smythe or ACR criteria for FMS. Remission was objectively
identified in 24.2% of assessed patients. Significant
differences in objective clinical signs, in symptoms, and in
self-described disability were found between patients with and
without FMS. Regular physical exercise, rather than drug or
specific physical therapies, correlated highly with low FMS
activity scores. Analysis of mood and coping strategies at the
2-year review showed low correlations with current FMS

CONCLUSION. Community FMS has a better prognosis
than the literature suggests. Simple intervention may be
associated with good outcome in a significant number of
patients with FMS.

Granges G, Zilko P, Littlejohn GO

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