Influence of Weather on Daily Symptoms of Pain and Fatigue in Female Patients With Fibromyalgia: A Multilevel Regression Analysis

Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Utrecht University, the Netherlands.
Arthritis Care and Research (Impact Factor: 4.71). 07/2013; 65(7):1019-1025. DOI: 10.1002/acr.22008
Source: PubMed


Although patients with fibromyalgia often report that specific weather conditions aggravate their symptoms, empirical studies have not conclusively demonstrated such a relationship. Our aim was to examine the association between weather conditions and daily symptoms of pain and fatigue in fibromyalgia, and to identify patient characteristics explaining individual differences in weather sensitivity. Methods
Female patients with fibromyalgia (n = 333, mean age 47.0 years, mean time since diagnosis 3.5 years) completed questions on pain and fatigue on 28 consecutive days. Daily weather conditions, including air temperature, sunshine duration, precipitation, atmospheric pressure, and relative humidity, were obtained from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute. Multilevel regression analysis was applied. ResultsIn 5 (10%) of 50 analyses, weather variables showed a significant but small effect on either pain or fatigue. In 10 analyses (20%), significant, small differences between patients were observed in the random effects of the weather variables, suggesting that symptoms of patients were, to a small extent, differentially affected by some weather conditions, for example, high pain with either low or high atmospheric pressure. These individual differences were explained neither by demographic, functional, or mental patient characteristics, nor by season or weather variation during the assessment period. Conclusion
There is more evidence against than in support of a uniform influence of weather on daily pain and fatigue in female patients with fibromyalgia. Although individuals appear to be differentially sensitive to certain weather conditions, there is no indication that specific patient characteristics play a role in weather sensitivity.

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    • "clinicians to consider the therapeutic implications of these findings and others (Bossema et al., 2013; Okifuji et al., 2011; Zautra et al., 2007) for treatment. "
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    ABSTRACT: Symptoms of fibromyalgia (FM) – chronic widespread pain, fatigue, unrefreshing sleep, dyscognition etcetera – present with varying degrees of severity in different individuals; however, studies reporting daily estimates of variability of symptoms are sparse. Given the limited literature on the stability and variability of FM symptoms, the purpose of the present study was to determine the feasibility of daily visual analogue, self-report measures to assess daily variability and time trends in core FM symptoms. Ten female patients completed daily assessments of common FM symptoms (pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression, stress, cognitive dysfunction, unrefreshing sleep and lightheadedness) for approximately 90 days. The completion rate was excellent (89.6%). The results demonstrated that average symptom intensity differs markedly across the different symptoms that were measured. Unrefreshing sleep, fatigue and pain are clearly higher in intensity than other symptoms and are followed by memory problems, stress, anxiety and depression. There is also notable average intra-individual change across time (10–15 points on a 100-point scale). Average symptom intensity does not appear to be related to the amount of symptom change within individuals. The results of the present study confirm that intensive longitudinal study, using comprehensive symptom assessment in patients with FM, is both possible and informative, in the sense that a rich description of the daily experience of living with FM can be obtained. Future work, utilizing larger samples, will offer the opportunity to investigate better the causes, consequences and correlates of the daily ups and downs of key symptoms that compromise quality of life in patients with FM. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Musculoskeletal Care
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    • "All in all, the evidence for a strong weather-pain association in fibromyalgia seems limited at best. Our results are in harmony with the generally reported lack of an objective relationship between the pain in fibromyalgia and the weather (de Blecourt et al. 1993; Hagglund et al. 1994; Fors and Sexton 2002; Bossema et al. 2013) "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to examine the association between fibromyalgia pain and weather, and to investigate whether psychosocial factors influence this relationship. Women with chronic widespread pain/fibromyalgia (N = 50) enrolled in a larger study, were recruited from a 4-week inpatient rehabilitation program in Norway ( 2009-2010), and reported their pain and psychological factors up to three times per day (morning, afternoon, evening) for 5 weeks. These ratings were then related to the official local weather parameters. Barometric pressure recorded simultaneously impacted pain significantly while temperature, relative humidity, and solar flux did not. No psychological variables influenced the weather-pain interaction. No weather parameter predicted change in the subsequent pain measures. The magnitude of the inverse association between pain and barometric pressure was very small, and none of the psychological variables studied influenced the association between pain and barometric pressure. All in all, the evidence for a strong weather-pain association in fibromyalgia seems limited at best.
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