Patient Outcomes Can be Improved, 2-Year Prospective Study Reveals

Patient Outcomes Can be Improved, 2-Year Prospective Study Reveals
Fibromyalgia is a disease that can impact the quality of life of patients severely, but its actual long-term health outcome is still unpredictable. Now, a two-year study that assessed clinician and patient-reported outcomes among fibromyalgia patients reveals this patient population can experience certain health improvements. The study, titled "Fibromyalgia Outcomes Over Time: Results from a Prospective Observational Study in the United States," was published in The Open Rheumatology Journal. In total, 76 patients with clinically diagnosed fibromyalgia, and with an average age of 51 years, were enrolled in the study. Physicians evaluated all patients for pain symptoms, tender points, blood pressure in the extremities, and overall outcome evaluation. After fibromyalgia symptoms were characterized, patients were asked to complete an online questionnaire about several self-reported outcome measures and other parameters, such as co-morbidities, clinical characteristics, symptoms, productivity, healthcare resource use, and socioeconomic information. Approximately two years later a follow-up consultation was conducted to evaluate the progression of fibromyalgia symptoms. In the follow-up consultation, the authors observed that more than 20% of the patients reported co-morbidities, such as arthritis, lower back pain, depression, high cholesterol, hypertension, headache/migraine, anxiety, and sleep apnea. Fibromyalgia patients reported that the most common drug prescriptions were pain relievers, of which 32.4% of the patients took opioids, 16.9% selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a
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