Efficacy of a multidisciplinary treatment program in patients with severe fibromyalgia

Rheumatology International, 07/27/2011

Casanueva–Fernandez B et al. – Patients with severe manifestations of fibromyalgia can obtain improvement with a short–term, low–cost and simple–delivery multidisciplinary program. However, additional studies including higher numbers of patients are needed to confirm the beneficial effect of this treatment program.

Methods

  • Thirty–four fibromyalgia patients were randomly divided into two groups.
  • The control group: 17 women who continued their medical treatment and participated in four educational sessions and the experimental group that included 17 patients who besides the former medical treatment also underwent a weekly 1–h session program for 8 weeks including massage therapy, ischemic pressure on the 18 tender points, aerobic exercise and thermal therapy.

Results

  • At the beginning of the program, there were no significant differences between the two groups in any of the parameters.
  • At the end of treatment, there was a significant improvement in the experimental group in the following items: vitality, social functioning, grip strength and the 6–min walk test.
  • At 1 month after the end of treatment, the experimental group showed significant differences in overall health perception, social functioning, grip strength and the 6–min walk test.
  • At that time, considering the threshold for clinical efficacy set at an improvement of 30% or above for the analyzed variables, 25% of the patients met the requirement for improvement of the following: number of symptoms: Visual Analogic Scale for fatigue, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire and Beck Anxiety Inventory.

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