Synergy towards health: a nursing intervention model for women living with fibromyalgia, and their spouses


Hélène Sylvain, Université du Québec à Rimouski, 300 des Ursulines, Rimouski, Québec, Canada G5L 3A1. E-mail:


Synergy towards health: a nursing intervention model for women living with fibromyalgia, and their spouses

Aim. The purpose of this study was to develop a consensus-based nursing intervention model for women living with fibromyalgia, their spouses and nurses working in a community health centre in Québec, Canada.

Background. Fibromyalgia syndrome, a rheumatic disorder associated with severe chronic pain and fatigue, has a major impact on the lives of individuals and their family. To date, research results on effective interventions are somewhat limited and inconclusive. Few studies take into account the perspective of those who live with this health problem on a day-to-day basis.

Methods. Data were collected mainly in 1999, through in-depth interviews and through group meetings using a qualitative research design, along the lines of the constructivist paradigm. The analysis plan aims for movement between the global and the specific: synthesis and thematic analysis. Analysed data were submitted to all participants throughout the data-collection process, thus allowing for shared constructions.

Findings. Results present the general consensus stemming from shared construction in all three groups. The nature of the intervention involves two major elements, support and teaching along with the fundamental importance of believing in the person. The timing of the intervention and the health and social context in which the intervention occurs also emerge as integral parts of the model. Synergy towards health in fibromyalgia emerges as the constitutive pattern composed of the following three elements: personal growth, spousal and professional support. The discussion addresses the model's components and uses an ecological perspective, in order to consider all the contexts that greatly influence the intervention. Empowerment is embedded in this intervention model.

Conclusions. This study shows that research based on partnership allows the integration of perspectives and skills of various actors so as to develop meaningful interventions for both those seeking care and health professionals.