The evaluation of the fibromyalgia patients.

Rheumatology Unit, L. Sacco University Hospital, Milan, Italy.
Reumatismo 09/2011; 60 Suppl 1:36-49. DOI: 10.4081/reumatismo.2008.1s.36
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Fibromyalgia (FM) is a rheumatic disease characterized by musculoskeletal pain, chronic diffuse tension and/or stiffness in joints and muscles, easy fatigue, sleep and emotional disturbances, and pressure pain sensitivity in at least 11 of 18 tender points. At present, there are no instrumental tests or specific diagnostic markers for FM; in fact, many of the existing indicators are significant for research purposes only. Many differential diagnoses may be excluded by an extensive clinical examination and patient history. Considering overlap of FM with other medical conditions, the treating physicians should be vigilant: chest-X-rays and abdominal ultrasonography are the first steps of general evaluation for all the patients with suspected FM. Functional neuroimaging methods have revealed a large number of supraspinal effects in FM, a disorder mediated by mechanisms that are essentially unknown. Many treatments are used in FM patients, but evaluating their therapeutic effects in FM is difficult because the syndrome is so multifaceted. To address the identification of core outcome domains, the Initiative on IMMPACT and OMERACT workshop convened a meeting to develop consensus recommendations for chronic pain clinical trials.

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    ABSTRACT: Musculoskeletal conditions are a major burden on individuals, health systems, and social care systems. The objective of the MAPPING study was to assess the impact of musculoskeletal conditions on health-related quality of life (HRQL) in an Italian population sample. Trained rheumatologists carried out structured visits in which subjects were asked about musculoskeletal symptoms and socio-demographic characteristics, completed validated instruments for measuring HRQL, such as the Short Form 36 items status survey questionnaire (SF-36), the EUROQoL five item questionnaire (EQ-5D), and chronic pain severity (Chronic Pain Grade - CPG questionnaire), and underwent a standardized physical examination. We considered a sample size of 576 patients diagnosed as having had musculoskeletal conditions. For the purposes of this study, musculoskeletal diseases were classified into 4 diagnostic groups: inflammatory rheumatic diseases (IRD), symptomatic peripheral osteoarthritis (SPOA), low back pain (LBP), and soft tissue disorders (STD). Cases were defined by previously validated criteria. The 4 major musculoskeletal disease groups, compared to non-sufferers, significantly impaired all eight health concepts of the SF-36 in the following order of magnitude: IRD, SPOA, STD, and LBP. Similar results were found for EQ-5D. The most striking impact was seen for SF-36 physical measures. On multiple regression modelling the physical component (PCS) of the SF-36 was influenced by female sex, age, high BMI, and low educational level (all at a p level < 0.001), and by manual occupation (p = 0.028) and chronic co-morbidity (p = 0.035) in LBP In SPOA, factors influencing physical function were age (p = 0.0001), low educational level (p = 0.006), female sex (p = 0.028), and chronic co-morbidity (p = 0.037). Moreover, an association on chronic co-morbidity and low educational level (both at a p level < 0.001), age (p = 0.004), and manual occupation (p = 0.035) was found with IRD, as well as of chronic co-morbidity and low educational level (both at a p level < 0.001), female sex (p = 0.006) and high BMI (p = 0.036) with STD were also found. Similar results were found for EQ-5D. The MAPPING study indicates that musculoskeletal conditions have a clearly detrimental effect on the HRQL and one third of the adult population in Italy visited at least one physician for musculoskeletal problem in the past year. These results enable a comparison to be made of the burden of musculoskeletal conditions with that of other common chronic conditions.
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