Assessment of functional limitation & disability in patients with fibromyalgia (FM)

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is characterized by diffuse widespread
musculoskeletal pain. The aims of this literature study were
to review measures and instruments used to assess functional
limitations and disability in patients with FMS. A 10-year
search was done on Medline, CATS, and CINAHL. Of the 73
articles found, only standardized instruments and tests
permitting quantification were included. Reviews, trials of
medication therapy, epidemiological studies, and measures of
the psychological and impairment level were excluded. The
articles were divided into cross-sectional and longitudinal
studies. No studies evaluating the reliability, validity or
sensitivity of the functional tests applied to the FMS were
found. Of the disability instruments reviewed, only the
Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales and Fibromyalgia Impact
Questionnaire were evaluated for reliability and validity for
the FMS population. The Arthritis Self-Efficacy Scales and
Quality of Life Scale proved their sensitivity, detecting
change in a controlled longitudinal study.

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