One year outcome of preadolescents with fibromyalgia (FM)

OBJECTIVE: Twenty-two children with fibromyalgia (FM), found

in a population based study of 1756 Finnish preadolescents,

were prospectively and blindly followed for one year to

investigate their physical and psychological background

factors and to determine the one year persistence of FM.

METHODS: The American College of Rheumatology 1990 criteria

for FM were used. Widespread pain was determined with a

structured, pretested pain questionnaire, including items on

disability both at baseline and at followup. At baseline,

hypermobility was tested with Beighton’s method and aerobic

capacity with a 20 m shuttle run test, and psychological data

were collected using the Children’s Depression Inventory

(CDI), a sleep questionnaire, and the Child Behavior Checklist

and Teacher’s Report Form. At followup, evaluations with the

CDI and sleep questionnaire were repeated.


baseline, the prevalence of FM was 1.3% (95% CI 0.8 to 1.9).

At followup, 16/22 (73%) children were available for

evaluation; 4 (25%) had persistent FM. Children with FM had

low pain thresholds. Only one of 19 children had

hypermobility. Those with persistent FM had persistent

subjective disability. Depressive symptoms diminished, but

there was still comorbidity of pain and depressive symptoms at


CONCLUSION: This study supports a previous one, in

which FM in children had a good outcome. However, fluctuation

of pain symptoms in children might partly explain the outcome.

Children with persistent FM showed persistent disability with

a number of distress symptoms.

Mikkelsson M

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