Fibromyalgia: patient perspectives on symptoms, symptom management, and provider utilization.
Two surveys of individuals with fibromyalgia were conducted to assess the frequency and prevalence of symptoms (N = 99) as well as healthcare providers, medications, and self-care activities used to manage one's fibromyalgia (N = 54). The pervasiveness of symptoms was striking, with 24 various symptoms ranging from cognitive to intestinal problems occurring in at least 75% of the respondents. Significant correlations were present between health status and both physical (P = .002) and psychological (P =.008) symptoms. There was also a significant correlation between the total number of symptoms and the degree of life disruption attributed to fibromyalgia (P =.015). A variety of healthcare professionals were seen, with internists, family physicians, and rheumatologist most frequently used. Although at least 80% of the respondents reported difficulty with anxiety, confusion, irritability, depression, and cognitive difficulties, less than 10% of the respondents reported seeing a psychiatrist. Most frequently used medications were: amitriptyline, (fluoxetine HCl) Prozac, ibuprofen (Motrin), sertraline HCI (Zoloft), and zolpidem (Ambein). Self-care activities used with the most success were walking, stretching, and exercising. These studies indicate the need for more research and support for healthcare providers as well as patients with fibromyalgia.
Wassem, R; McDonald, M; Racine, J
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