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Original report

Do fibromyalgia patients use active pain management strategies? A cohort study

doi: 10.2340/16501977-1133

Open access


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the types of pain management strategies used by patients with fibromyalgia.
METHODS: A total of 158 patients with primary fibromyalgia attended a clinical visit to confirm the diagnosis. They completed 3 questionnaires: (i) a self-made questionnaire, (ii) Beck Depression Inventory IA (BDI IA), and (iii) Finnish version of Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire. The self-made questionnaire included questions about: intensity of current pain; general well-being; pain management strategies, including pain medications; efficacy of the pain management methods; current health problems other than fibromyalgia. The pain management strategies were subcategorized (e.g. physical exercise, massage and heat treatment). The strategies were also divided into active and passive types.
RESULTS: The most frequently reported pain management strategies were physical exercise (54%), physical therapy (32%) and cold treatment (27%). The use of active pain management strategies, BDI IA < 10 points and age were independent predictors of the reported pain management efficacy. Patients who used active pain management strategies reported better efficacy with the BDI IA score ≥ 10 points.
CONCLUSION: Active pain management strategies are most efficacious for fibromyalgia patients, regardless of the severity of fibromyalgia or optional comorbid depression.


Jarno Gauffin, Tiina Hankama, Pekka Hannonen, Hannu Kautiainen, Timo Pohjolainen, Maija Haanpää
Rehabilitation, ORTON Rehabilitation Centre, ORTON Foundation, 00280 Helsinki, Finland. E-mail:


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Volume 45, Issue 5

DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1133

Pages: 477-480

View at PubMed