Abstract: Caring for the patient with fibromyalgia: the rehabilitation nurse’s role

Rehabil Nurs. 2004 Mar-Apr;29(2):49-55.

Schaefer KM.

Department of Nursing, College of Health Professions, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA. karen.schaefer@temple.edu

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic, potentially disabling, cluster of symptoms that manifests as pain for 3 months or more and pain with pressure on 11 of 18 tender points throughout the body. Because there is no known cause, and therefore, no cure, treatment focuses on the control or relief of symptoms. Many patients are referred to rehabilitation settings for physical or exercise therapy.

While exercise is helpful in the control of the pain, stiffness, fatigue, sleep disorders, and mood changes, a holistic approach to treatment is more effective. Rehabilitation nurses provide major support for patients with FM. Validation of the patients’ experiences is essential for achieving quality of life. Many patients have a history of being undertreated because of a lack of credibility and invisibility of the illness. This article provides background information about FM, summarizes the FM trajectory, reviews approaches to management, and discusses the role of rehabilitation nurses in a holistic approach to care of clients with FM.

PMID: 15052746 [PubMed – in process]

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