The prevalence of sexual abuse in women with fibromyalgia (FM)

OBJECTIVE. To determine the prevalence of sexual abuse in women
diagnosed as having fibromyalgia (FM) compared with controls.

METHODS. A self-administered questionnaire designed to obtain
information regarding demographics, health care utilization,
and history of sexual and physical abuse was completed by 40
women with FM and by 42 women who had no evidence of
connective tissue disease or other major medical condition.

RESULTS. Women with FM reported more physical symptoms and
were significantly different on multiple indices of health
compared with controls. Twenty-six FM subjects (65%) reported
sexual abuse, in comparison with 22 controls (52%). The
prevalence and type of abuse were not significantly different
between groups. Sexually abused FM subjects reported
significantly more symptoms than did non-sexually abused FM
women, but did not differ in the number of symptoms for which
they sought medical treatment.

CONCLUSION. Sexual abuse does
not appear to be a specific factor in the etiology of FM, but
is correlated with the number and severity of associated

Taylor ML, Trotter DR, Csuka ME

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