Does fibromyalgia have a greater impact on daily life than other rheumatic diseases?

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rheumatic diseases, fibromyaglia pain, rheumatoid arthritis, sjogrens, arthritis digest magazinePeople with fibromyalgia may find it more difficult to adjust to their disease and use poorer strategies to cope with pain than people with rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis or Sjögren’s syndrome says research in Pain Medicine.

A team examined the impact of fibromyalgia on psychological adaptation in people with fibromyalgia compared with other rheumatic diseases. The volunteers comprised 165 women who had fibromyalgia (48), rheumatoid arthritis (47), spondyloarthritis (47) and Sjögren’s syndrome (23).

Using questionnaires and interviews the study team established that anxiety and depressive disorders were more common in people with fibromyalgia. They had higher scores when it came to impact of the disease, physical symptoms, pain and fatigue than women with rheumatoid arthritis and reported more fatigue than people with spondyloarthritis.

People with fibromyalgia used more maladaptive coping strategies (ie they didn’t distance themselves from pain or ignore it and were more likely to catastrophise).

“Compared with other rheumatic diseases, fibromyalgia has a greater impact on daily life,” the study authors say. “Patients have more difficulty adjusting to the disease and generally use poorer strategies to cope with pain.”

Healthcare professionals and support groups need to provide information and tools to people with fibromyalgia to enable them to manage their symptoms more effectively.

Click here to read the original research. 

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