What makes patients with fibromyalgia feel better? Correlations between Patient Global Impression of Improvement and changes in clinical symptoms and function: a pooled analysis of 4 randomized placebo-controlled trials of duloxetine.

Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts, USA.
The Journal of Rheumatology (Impact Factor: 3.26). 11/2009; 36(11):2517-22. DOI: 10.3899/jrheum.090139
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To investigate the relationship between changes in clinical rating scale items and endpoint Patient Global Impression of Improvement (PGI-I).
Data were pooled from 4 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of duloxetine in patients with fibromyalgia (FM). Variables included in the analyses were those that assessed symptoms in FM domains of pain, fatigue, sleep, cognitive difficulties, emotional well-being, physical function, and impact on daily living. The association of endpoint PGI-I with changes from baseline in individual variables was assessed using Pearson product-moment correlations (r). Stepwise linear regression was used to identify those variables for which changes from baseline were statistically significant independent predictors of the endpoint PGI-I ratings.
Changes in pain variables and interference of symptoms with the ability to work were highly correlated (r >or= 0.5 or r <or= -0.5) with endpoint PGI-I. Moderate correlation with endpoint PGI-I (0.30 <or= r < 0.5 or -0.5 < r <or= -0.30) included changes in variables that assessed physical functioning, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and several variables related to impact on daily living. Independent predictor variables of endpoint PGI-I identified by stepwise linear regression included assessments for pain, physical function, vitality, anxiety, social function, and tender point thresholds.
In addition to pain reduction, what makes patients with FM feel better may include improvement in fatigue, physical functioning, mood, and impact on daily living. An assessment of these domains may be important in clinical trials of FM and in the management of patients with FM.

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Treatment effects were reported as standardised mean differences (SMD) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for continuous outcomes using different measurement tools (pain, physical function, fatigue, sleep, total well-being and stiffness) and risk ratio (RR) and 95% CI for dichotomous outcomes (adverse events). We pooled data using the random-effects model. MAIN RESULTS: Nine trials (395 participants) were included. All studies except one were at low risk of selection bias; five were at risk of selective reporting bias (favouring either treatment group); two were subject to attrition bias (favouring acupuncture); three were subject to performance bias (favouring acupuncture) and one to detection bias (favouring acupuncture). Three studies utilised electro-acupuncture (EA) with the remainder using manual acupuncture (MA) without electrical stimulation. 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