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German Fibromyalgia Survey Results Challenge Heavy Emphasis on Drug Therapies

Article:
German fibromyalgia consumer reports – a cross-sectional survey
– Source: BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, May 18, 2012

By Winfried Hauser, et al.

[Note: The full text of this article with detailed survey results is available free HERE [1]. ]

Abstract:
Background: Consumer surveys provide information on effectiveness and side effects of medical interventions in routine clinical care. A report of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) consumers has not been carried out in Europe.

Methods: The study was carried out from November 2010 to April 2011. Participants diagnosed with FMS rated the effectiveness and side effects of pharmacological and non-pharmacological FMS interventions on a 0 to 10 scale, with 10 being most efficacious [helpful].

The questionnaire was distributed by the German League for people with Arthritis and Rheumatism and the German Fibromyalgia Association to their members and to all consecutive FMS patients of nine clinical centers of different levels of care.

Results: 1,661 questionnaires (95% women, mean age 54 years, mean duration since FMS diagnosis 6.8 years) were analyzed.

The most frequently used therapies were self-management strategies, prescription pain medication and aerobic exercise.

The highest average effectiveness was attributed to whole body and local warmth therapies, thermal baths, FMS education and resting.

The highest average side effects were attributed to:
• Strong opioids,
• Local cold therapy,
• Gamma-amino-butyric acid analogues (pregabalin and gabapentin),
• Tramadol
• And opioid transdermal systems.

Conclusion:
The German fibromyalgia consumer reports:

• Highlight the importance of non-pharmacological therapies in the long-term management of FMS,

• And challenge the strong recommendations for drug therapies given by FMS-guidelines.

Source: BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, May 18, 2012. PMID:22607517, by Hauser W, Jung E, Erbslöh-Möller B, Gesmann M, Kühn-Becker H, Petermann F, Langhorst J, Thoma R, Weiss T, Wolfe F, Winkelmann A. Department Internal Medicine I,Klinikum Saarbrucken, Saarbrucken, Germany. [Email: whaeuser@klinikum-saarbruecken.de [2]]