Fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome: assessment of the severity of the condition 2 years after diagnosis

OBJECTIVE. To review the outcome of patients with fibromyalgia

syndrome (FMS) diagnosed and treated with minimal intervention

in community rheumatology practice.

METHODS. Forty-four

ambulant patients with FMS, first seen in a 2-month period and

treated with a simple management program, were identified and

reviewed 2 years after diagnosis. A variety of clinical and

psychological features were assessed using standard


RESULTS. Forty-seven percent no longer fulfilled

Smythe or ACR criteria for FMS. Remission was objectively

identified in 24.2% of assessed patients. Significant

differences in objective clinical signs, in symptoms, and in

self-described disability were found between patients with and

without FMS. Regular physical exercise, rather than drug or

specific physical therapies, correlated highly with low FMS

activity scores. Analysis of mood and coping strategies at the

2-year review showed low correlations with current FMS


CONCLUSION. Community FMS has a better prognosis

than the literature suggests. Simple intervention may be

associated with good outcome in a significant number of

patients with FMS.

Granges G, Zilko P, Littlejohn GO

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