Abstract: Psychological and behavioural therapies in fibromyalgia and related syndromes

Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2003 Aug;17(4):649-65.  Williams DA.   University of Michigan, Room 5510D, MSRB-1, 1150 W. Medical Center Dr., 48109-0680, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Psychological and behavioural therapies are being applied to patients with fibromyalgia (FM) with increasing frequency. The rationale for including psychological therapies is not for the treatment of co-morbid mood disorders, but rather to manage the many non-psychiatric psychological and social factors that comprise pain perception and its maintenance. This chapter reviews the involvement of mental health professionals under both the biomedical and biopsychosocial models of illness and describes cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a commonly used form of psychological therapy in the management of chronic pain conditions. The empirical literature supports the use of CBT with FM in producing modest outcomes across multiple domains, including pain, fatigue, physical functioning and mood. Greatest benefits appear to occur when CBT is used adjunctively with exercise. While the benefits are not curative or universally obtained by all patients, the benefits are sufficiently large to encourage future refinement of CBT for this population of patients.

PMID: 12849717 [PubMed – in process]

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