Fibromyalgia Treatment Often Depends on Physician’s Specialty

Fibromyalgia Treatment Often Depends on Physician’s Specialty
Despite published guidelines, fibromyalgia (FM) treatment still varies depending on physicians' specialties, according to the findings of a study recently published Pragmatic and Observational Research. FM is a chronic pain condition, characterized by numerous associated symptoms that include widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances and dyscognition. Some symptoms may be shared with other conditions also in the FM patient. As with many forms of chronic pain, multiple treatment approaches can be considered. Clinicians often match the appropriate treatment strategy with the needs of the individual patient. Historically, the management of FM had largely fallen under the purview of rheumatologists. Most recently, patients have been reaching out for treatment from a wider range of health experts that include primary care physicians, psychiatrists, and neurologists. In the study “Variations in the management of fibromyalgia by physician specialty: rheumatology versus primary care," a team of researchers evaluated the effect of physician specialty regarding diagnosis and treatment of FM, and assessed the clinical status of patients initiating new treatment for FM. The data was collected from the Real-World Examination of Fibromyalgia: Longitudinal Evaluation of Costs and Treatments (REFLECTIONS). The study was an observational, multicenter, real world study in which treatment occurred as part of routine care provided during the course of normal clinical practice. Physician cohorts included 54 rheumatologists,  25  primary care physicians, and 12 physicians from a mix of practices such as psychiatry, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology. The results showed that rheumatologists expressed higher certainty diagnosing FM compared to primary
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