Impact of fibromyalgia pain on health-related quality of life before and after treatment with tramadol/acetaminophen

Authors


Abstract

Objective

To assess health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with moderate-to-severe fibromyalgia pain compared with the general population, and to assess the relationship between pain severity and HRQOL before and after treatment with an analgesic.

Methods

Data were obtained from a randomized, double-blind study of patients with moderate-to-severe fibromyalgia pain. Patients received either tramadol/acetaminophen or placebo 4 times/day as needed for 91 days. HRQOL was measured with the Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) and the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ). Baseline HRQOL scores were compared with a national sample of noninstitutionalized adults and a sample of patients with impaired HRQOL due to congestive heart failure. Patients with fibromyalgia were divided into tertiles by change in pain severity, and SF-36 scores were compared across the tertiles. Mean changes in SF-36 and FIQ scores were compared between treatment groups.

Results

Patients with fibromyalgia scored lower than the US norm on all SF-36 scales (P < 0.0001) and lower than patients with congestive heart failure on most scales. More severe pain was associated with greater impairment of HRQOL compared with less severe pain (P < 0.0001). Patients in the highest tertile for improved pain severity had greater improvement in HRQOL scores than patients in the lower tertiles. Compared with patients who received placebo (n = 157), patients treated with tramadol/acetaminophen (n = 156) showed greater improvement on SF-36 physical functioning, role physical, bodily pain, and physical summary scales, as well as FIQ scales for ability to do job, pain, and stiffness (P < 0.01).

Conclusion

Moderate-to-severe fibromyalgia pain significantly impairs HRQOL, and effective pain relief in these patients significantly increases HRQOL.

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