Fibromyalgia patient assessment tool helps treatment strategies

November 25, 2008

van Wilgen CP, van Ittersum MW, Kaptein AA, van Wijhe M,University of Groningen, The Netherlands, and other centers.Illness perceptions in patients with fibromyalgia and their relationshipto quality of life and catastrophizing. Arthritis Rheum.2008;58:3618-3626.

van Wilgen CP, van Ittersum MW, Kaptein AA, van Wijhe M, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, and other centers. Illness perceptions in patients with fibromyalgia and their relationship to quality of life and catastrophizing. Arthritis Rheum. 2008;58:3618-3626.

The revised Illness Perception Questionnaire in patients with FM (IPQ-R-FM) is a useful tool for assessing illness perceptions in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). Integrating these perceptions into disease management may help clinicians anticipate treatment strategies.

van Wilgen and associates sent IPQ-R-FM questionnaires to 51 patients with FMS to collect data. Patients were asked whether they experienced a specific symptom and whether they believed it was related to their FMS. An FMS-specific dimension included 8 causes.The Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire and the Pain Catastrophizing Scale were used to analyze the link between illness perception and quality of life and catastrophizing.

Subjects perceived FMS to be chronic and to have serious consequences and perceived little personal control and treatment control.Those with more psychological attributions for their FMS, such as stress, had more risk factor attributions. FMS-specific attributions were significantly related to psychological and risk factor attributions. A somatic cause was reported most frequently. Quality of life was related to the number of consequences that patients experience.

The authors noted that measuring quality of life provides insight into the impact of FMS on psychological, physical, and social functioning.