Systematic Review Explores Psychological Aspects of Juvenile Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Systematic Review Explores Psychological Aspects of Juvenile Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Findings from a recent systematic review published in the journal Revista Brasileira de Reumatologia showed that patients with juvenile fibromyalgia syndrome and their family members have different opinions about the condition, and stress that functional and psychological treatments are necessary to address these differences.

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals. This disorded is commonly thought of as a condition that affects adults. However, fibromyalgia also occurs in children and adolescents. Estimates suggest that juvenile fibromyalgia syndrome (JFMS) affects 2 to 6 percent of school children, mostly adolescent girls. It is most commonly diagnosed between ages 13 and 15.

Concomitant psychological and organic factors result in a diminished capacity to cope with pain. The quality of life of individuals with chronic pain and their caregivers is severely restricted and the occurrence of symptoms of anxiety and depression is common in this population. In the systematic review entitled “Psychological aspects of juvenile fibromyalgia syndrome: a literature review”, Dr. Império Lombardi Junior from the Departamento de Ciências do Movimento Humano, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Santos, SP, Brasil and colleagues, conducted an electronic database search in PubMed, Scielo, Lilacs and Medline of the studies published between 1985 and 2014 that examined the characteristics and associated factors of JFMS. A total of 108 studies were included in the systematic review.

The results showed there are different opinions between patients and family members regarding the effect of JFMS. The researchers found that compared to patients themselves, mothers tend to classify JFMS as more severe. Young people suffering with the condition seem to share the same personality traits and there seems to be a type of family environment that is favorable to the occurrence of this condition.

The team suggested that functional and psychological aspects should be treated with clinical strategies that are able to help JFMS patients as well as their family members in order to change their coping strategies regarding daily problems. According to the researchers, treatment aspects should also include the attenuation of dysfunctional consequences of fatigue and pain and reduce the risk of catastrophizing that JFMS patients under constant pain develop in relation to their surrounding environment.