Depression, Anxiety Affect Fibromyalgia Symptoms Differently, Study Reveals

Depression, Anxiety Affect Fibromyalgia Symptoms Differently, Study Reveals
Depression and anxiety impact bodily symptoms differently in patients with fibromyalgia, according to a study from the University of Iowa. This may explain why multidisciplinary treatments that include psychological interventions for fibromyalgia are effective only for a subset of patients, researchers said, suggesting that treatment should be tailored to the individual symptoms a patient is experiencing. More research is then needed to assess if such a tailored approach is beneficial for fibromyalgia patients. The study reporting the findings, “Somatic symptom presentations in women with fibromyalgia are differentially associated with elevated depression and anxiety,” was published in the Journal of Health Psychology. Researchers recruited 191 women with a fibromyalgia diagnosis. The majority of the patients, 65 percent, had been ill for more than five years. Half of the study participants reported they were affected by depression or anxiety. This subgroup was made up of 24 percent who had high levels of both depression and anxiety; 17 percent who reported high levels of anxiety without high levels of depression; and 9 percent who said they were depressed but did not experience anxiety. In addition to examining the levels of depression and anxiety, the research team measured fatigue, the presence of sleep disturbance, pain catastrophizing (exaggeration), fear of movement, and pain severity using validated tools. Data showed that pain catastrophizing, fear of pain, and pain severity were linked with both anxiety and depression, and that both ind
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