Content » Vol 45, Issue 5

Original report

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

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

DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1133


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.

Supplementary content