U.K. Study to Explore if Behavioral Therapy Can Prevent Fibromyalgia in At-Risk Group

U.K. Study to Explore if Behavioral Therapy Can Prevent Fibromyalgia in At-Risk Group
A clinical trial investigating if phone-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) might prevent chronic widespread pain in people at high risk of developing fibromyalgia is soon to begin in the U.K. The trial, the first of its kind in aiming to prevent fibromyalgia, might both guide the development of future treatments and provide insights into disease mechanisms at work. While chronic widespread pain in fibromyalgia is currently managed by medical, physical and psychological interventions, the individual importance of each approach is not clear. Like other pain conditions, chronic widespread pain in fibromyalgia is difficult to treat once it is established, and preventive approaches might be more fruitful. There is plenty of scientific support for the use of cognitive behavioral therapy in fibromyalgia pain states, and studies show that the intervention helps patients in coping with pain and reduces depression and the need for healthcare. Earlier attempts with the delivery of therapy by phone have shown good effects, also pointing to the cost-effectiveness of the approach. The study, described in a publication titled "The Maintaining Musculoskeletal Health (MAmMOTH) Study: Protocol for a randomised trial of cognitive behavioural therapy versus usual care for the prevention of chronic widespread pain," and published in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, will compare telephone-CBT to usual care — that is, no intervention at all — reflecting the current real-life situation. Researchers at the University of Aberdeen will recruit patients by first screening primary care databases for those potentially eligible. These individuals will be provided with a questionnaire, and those who return a completed survey and meet a number of criteria for hi
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