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Keywords:

  • fibromyalgia;
  • FIQ ;
  • interdisciplinary treatment;
  • quality of life;
  • RCT ;
  • randomized controlled trial

Abstract

Objective

To assess whether an interdisciplinary intervention is more effective than usual care for improving the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among patients with fibromyalgia (FM), and to identify variables that were predictors of improvement in HRQoL.

Methods

In a randomized controlled clinical trial carried out on an outpatient basis in a hospital pain management unit, 153 patients with FM were randomly allocated to an experimental group (EG) or a control group (CG). Participants completed the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) at baseline and 6 months after the intervention. The EG received an interdisciplinary treatment (12 sessions for 6 weeks) which consisted of coordinated psychological, medical, educational, and physiotherapeutic interventions while the CG received standard-of-care pharmacologic treatment. Descriptive statistics, ANOVA, Chi square and Fisher tests and generalized linear models were used for data analysis.

Results

Six months after the intervention, statistically significant improvements in HRQoL were observed in physical functioning (P = 0.01), pain (P = 0.03) and total FIQ score (P = 0.04) in the EG compared to the CG. The number of physical illnesses was identified as a predictor for improvement.

Conclusions

This interdisciplinary intervention has shown effectiveness in improving the HRQoL of this sample of patients with FM. The number of physical illnesses was identified as a predictor of that improvement.