A new nonpharmacological method in fibromyalgia: The use of wool – Source: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Apr 2009

[Note: this trial was likely conducted in cool weather given the conclusion that a nursing objective for FM patients should be to keep them “warm and to protect them from the cold.”]

Objectives: The aim was to assess the effect of wool use in patients with fibromyalgia.

Background: Various studies concerning the treatment of patients with fibromyalgia using nonpharmacological methods have been carried out. There are, however, no reports on the use of wool clothing and bedding in treating these patients.

Design and Methods: The study employed two-group, experimental design. A total of 50 patients with fibromyalgia, based on the criteria of the American College of Rheumatology, were selected for the study. They were distributed equally into two groups: a control group and a treatment group. The 25 patients in each group were randomly selected and the compositions of the two groups were statistically identical.

The patients in the treatment group wore woolen underwear (which covered the body from the shoulders to the thighs) and used woolen bedding such as woolen bed liner, woolen quilt and pillow during the experimental period of 6 weeks.

All patients were assessed at the beginning the trial (pre-test) and the end of 6th (post-test) week. Data were collected using the visual analogue scale (0-10), tender points count, and Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire.

Results: Patients in the treatment group reported significant improvements in their conditions including a reduction in pain levels, tender point counts, and all scores of the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (p
Conclusions: The use of woolen underwear and woolen bedding were effective in reducing the symptoms of patients suffering from fibromyalgia. The use of wool is recommended as a means of treatment for alleviating the pain of fibromyalgia.

Relevance to Clinical Practice: Nurses provide professional support to patients with fibromyalgia. They select suitable clothes and sleeping materials for their patients with this object in mind: to keep their patients warm and to protect them from the cold.

Source: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Apr 2009;15(4):399-405. PMID: 19388862, by Kiyak EK. Atatürk University School of Nursing, Erzurum, Turkey. [E-mail: frtemine@hotmail.com]

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