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How patients with fibromyalgia (FM) experience their symptoms in everyday life

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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is

characterized by diffuse widespread pain and fatigue. The

purpose of this study was to search for a deeper knowledge of

the way patients with FMS experience their symptoms in

everyday life.

METHOD: Qualitative interviews, applying the

phenomenological method, were used. The respondents were

interviewed twice and asked to describe a typical day. Eleven

Swedish women, aged 24-54 years, fulfilling the ACR criteria

for FMS participated in the study. The duration of pain ranged

from three to 20 years. Three patients worked full-time, six

worked part-time and two did not work outside the home.

RESULTS: The effect of perceived symptoms on everyday life was

considerable. Four different patterns of perceiving and

managing symptoms were identified: Struggling: respondents who

perceived that they managed their everyday life by mobilizing

their physical and psychological strength to fight their pain

and fatigue; Adapting: respondents who perceived that they

managed their everyday life by planning their activities on

the basis of their assumptions of limitations; In despair:

respondents who were in despair as they could no longer cope

with their pain and life situation; Giving up: respondents who

had given up many activities of everyday life and felt that

their symptoms dominated their life.

CONCLUSIONS: The study

illuminates qualitative differences in FMS patients’

experience and management of their symptoms in their everyday

life. These differences ought to be considered when planning

physiotherapy treatment.

Mannerkorpi K, Kroksmark T, Ekdahl C

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (73 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
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