Awareness of diagnostic & clinical features of fibromyalgia (FM) among family physicians

OBJECTIVES: The aim was to assess the awareness and knowledge of

family physicians about diagnostic and clinical features of

fibromyalgia syndrome (FS), and to evaluate the contribution

of rheumatology education to the improvement of this


METHODS: A detailed questionnaire on FS was

completed by 172 family physicians. A composite score, based

on five items, was constructed to quantitatively assess

knowledge of FS (maximum score of 5). A comparison was made

between physicians exposed to extensive education on FS (in

Beer Sheva medical centre) and physicians without such

exposure (in other centres).

RESULTS: Ninety-six per cent of

the physicians claimed to be familiar with FS. They recognized

most of the FS-related symptoms, but had limited knowledge of

the diagnostic criteria, treatment modalities and prognosis.

Only 55% knew that FS is associated with widespread pain and

25% were familiar with the point count criterion. Physicians

trained in Beer Sheva scored significantly higher than those

trained elsewhere: 3.0 +/- 1.2 versus 2.4 +/- 1.2,

respectively (P = 0.006), and their knowledge of FS treatment

was significantly better.

CONCLUSION: Family physicians in

Israel are quite unfamiliar with the diagnostic criteria of

FS, though educational exposure improves their awareness and


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