Fibromyalgia syndrome: Preventive, social and economic aspects

Unit of Rheumatology, Hospital S. Eugenio, Rome, Italy.
Reumatismo 09/2011; 60 Suppl 1:70-8. DOI: 10.4081/reumatismo.2008.1s.70
Source: PubMed


There many open questions concerning the concept of primary prevention in FM. Diagnostic or classification criteria are not universally accepted, and this leads to difficulties in establishing the onset and duration of the disease. In the case of FM, primary prevention may consist of the immediate care of acute pain or treatment for affective disturbances as we do not have any specific laboratory or instrumental tests to determine risk factors of the disease. The goal of secondary prevention is early detection of the disease when patients are largely asymptomatic and intervention improves outcome. Screening allows for identification of an unrecognized disease or risk factor, which, for potential FM patients, includes analysis of tender points, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), pain location and intensity, and fatigue and sleep complaints. Tertiary prevention inhibits further deterioration or reduces complications after the disease has developed. In FM the aim of treatment is to decrease pain and increase function via multimodal therapeutic strategies, which, in most cases, includes pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions. Patients with FM are high consumers of health care services, and FM is associated with significant productivity-related costs. The degree of disability and the number of comorbidities are strongly associated with costs. An earlier diagnosis of FM can reduce referral costs and investigations, thus, leading to a net savings for the health care sector. However, every social assessment is closely related to the socio-economic level of the general population and to the legislation of the country in which the FM patient resides.

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