Personality Traits May Impact Severity of Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Personality Traits May Impact Severity of Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Patients with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome tend to fall into two personality categories, of which one group has more severe symptoms — an insight that might improve both evaluation and treatment of patients based on their specific needs and psychological capabilities. The study, "Distinctive personality profiles of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome patients," published in the journal PeerJ, underscored that such assessments would conform to the idea of personalized medicine, which is currently gaining ground. Research in the early 1990s suggested that people have characteristic personality differences based on how they learn in situations of novelty, danger, punishment, and reward. A few earlier studies attempted to link certain personality traits to fibromyalgia, but failed. Researchers at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, both in Israel, attempted a different approach to explore how differences in personality may affect fibromyalgia. The team enrolled 344 patients with self-reported fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, who were asked to complete a questionnaire. The survey was completed by 204 patients, and an additional 140 participants provided answers to only parts of the survey. Researchers used the Fibromyalgia Criteria and Severity Scales (FCSS) to identify patients who met diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia, finding that 260 participants (75.6 percent) did so. But researchers also noted that those who did not meet the diagnostic
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