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Papers of the Week

Papers: 12 Aug 2023 - 18 Aug 2023

Clinical, Psychology

Human Studies, Neurobiology

Inflammation/Inflammatory, Musculoskeletal Pain

2023 Aug 11

Rheumatol Int


Multi-disciplinary community-based group intervention for fibromyalgia: a pilot randomized controlled trial.


Turcotte K, Oelke ND, Whitaker G, Holtzman S, O'Connor B, Pearson N, Teo M


Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, mood disturbances, and cognitive impairment. Most individuals with fibromyalgia experience poorly managed symptoms and increased healthcare service use. Multicomponent therapies, with a focus on nonpharmacological modalities, are increasingly supported in the literature. However, given the limited resources available, implementation in smaller communities remains a challenge. This research tested a community-based multidisciplinary group intervention for individuals diagnosed with FM living in a small urban centre. The primary outcome was perceptions of quality of care and secondary outcomes included disease-related functioning, anxious and depressive symptoms, pain beliefs, and health service utilization. A pilot randomized control trial was conducted in which 60 patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia were randomized into a 10-week community-based multidisciplinary group intervention program or usual care. Treatment components included twice-weekly exercise sessions and weekly education sessions (e.g., pain education, cognitive behavioral strategies for stress, nutrition, peer support). The trial (NCT03270449) was registered September 1 2017. Statistically significant post-intervention improvements were found in the primary outcome, perceived quality of care (Cohen’s d = 0.61, 0.66 for follow up care and goal setting, respectively). Secondary outcomes showing statistically significant improvements were disease-related daily functioning (Cohen’s d = 0.70), depressive symptoms (Cohen’s d = 0.87), and pain beliefs (Cohen’s d = 0.61, 0.67, 0.82 for harm, disability and control, respectively). No adverse events were reported. Community-based multidisciplinary group interventions for fibromyalgia show promise for improving satisfaction with quality of care, disease-related functioning, and depression, and fostering more adaptive pain beliefs.