A recent study showed that about 30 percent of Canadian patients suffering from fibromyalgia (FM) had disability status. Patients who were considered disabled were more likely to show more severe symptoms of fibromyalgia, an increased use of medications, and have more physically demanding jobs. The study, “Disability in Fibromyalgia Associates with Symptom Severity and Occupation Characteristics,” was published in The Journal of Rheumatology.
Disability as a consequence of illness is generally reflected in the severity of the illness. Because disability rates for fibromyalgia are high in the developed world, researchers studied disease and work characteristics for fibromyalgia patients who were working, unemployed, or receiving disability payments for disability as a consequence of fibromyalgia.
A total of 248 Canadian patients suffering from fibromyalgia who were registered into a database from July 2005 were involved in the study. The mean age of patients was 47.9 years, mean disease duration was 10.8 years, and 91 percent of patients were female.
Study participants belonged to three groups: 90 people were employed; 81 were unemployed for reasons not related to fibromyalgia; and 77 received work disability compensation from a private or public insurer attributable to fibromyalgia. The 30 percent disability rate among fibromyalgia patients in Canada was about the same as fibromyalgia patients