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This study aimed to evaluate the differences in cognitive skills between women with fibromyalgia and healthy women, and the correlations between functional independence and cognitive limitations.
A cross-sectional study was performed. Twenty women with fibromyalgia and 20 matched controls participated. Outcomes included the Numerical Pain Rating Scale, the Functional Independence Measure, the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire and Gradior© software. The Student’s t-test and the Spearman’s rho test were applied to the data.
Women affected required a greater mean time (P < 0.020) and maximum time (P < 0.015) during the attention test than the healthy controls. In the memory test they displayed greater execution errors (P < 0.001), minimal time (P < 0.001) and mean time (P < 0.001), whereas in the perception tests, they displayed a greater mean time (P < 0.009) and maximum time (P < 0.048). Correlations were found between the domains of the functional independence measure and the cognitive abilities assessed.
Women with fibromyalgia exhibited a decreased cognitive ability compared to healthy controls, which negatively affected the performance of daily activities, such as upper limb dressing, feeding and personal hygiene. Patients required more time to perform activities requiring both attention and perception, decreasing their functional independence. Also, they displayed greater errors when performing activities requiring the use of memory.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Occupational therapists treating women with fibromyalgia should consider the negative impact of possible cognitive deficits on the performance of daily activities and offer targeted support strategies.
© 2016 Occupational Therapy Australia.
Source: Pérez de Heredia-Torres M, Huertas-Hoyas E, Máximo-Bocanegra N, Palacios-Ceña D, Fernández-De-Las-Peñas C. Cognitive performance in women with fibromyalgia: A case-control study. Aust Occup Ther J. 2016 Apr 5. doi: 10.1111/1440-1630.12292. [Epub ahead of print]