OBJECTIVE: To compare function and disability in fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) cases in the community versus controls, and to identify variables predicting poor function and disability.
METHODS: We identified 100 FMS cases, 76 pain controls, and 135 general controls in a random survey of 3,395 non-institutionalized adults.
RESULTS: FMS cases reported worse function (P < 0.00001), more days in bed (P < 0.001), and more healthy years of life lost (P < 0.0001). More FMS cases were disabled (P < 0.00001) and receiving pensions (P < 0.00001). Risk factors for disability included middle age and previous heavy manual labor. Pain, fatigue, and weakness were most often claimed to affect the ability to work Variables predicting work disability were the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) score, a prior diagnosis of FMS, non-restorative sleep, and past heavy physical labor. Variables influencing the FIQ score were the number of major symptoms, self-reported health satisfaction, tender point count, and education level.
CONCLUSION: FMS commonly results in loss of function and work disability.
Arthritis Rheum 1999 Jan;42(1):76-83.
University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.
PMID: 9920017, UI: 99116745