Better Therapies, Guidelines Needed to Improve Patient Care, Canadian Survey Finds

Better Therapies, Guidelines Needed to Improve Patient Care, Canadian Survey Finds
Canadian rheumatologists believe that therapies currently available to treat fibromyalgia largely fail to manage symptoms, and new diagnosis and treatment guidelines are needed to improve patient care, a new survey found. The findings were reported in a study titled, “Attitudes Toward and Management of Fibromyalgia: A National Survey of Canadian Rheumatologists and Critical Appraisal of Guidelines,” published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology. Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic, widespread pain that can severely affect a patient’s quality of life. Clinical management of the disease is challenging, with many patients reporting no significant improvements, even when monitored at specialized rheumatology centers. Recent discoveries have shown that fibromyalgia may be caused by complex mechanisms that are separate from musculoskeletal processes. Therefore, recent guidelines suggest that patients should be managed by primary care physicians without the need for rheumatology specialists. “The aim of this study was to explore management strategies and attitudes of Canadian rheumatologists toward fibromyalgia and concordance with guideline recommendations,” researchers wrote. The team conducted a nationwide cross-sectional survey that was completed by 140 rheumatologists from the Canadian Rheumatology Association. Nearly all of the physicians (98%) reported having attended to patients with either primary or secondary fibromyalgia. The survey found that 80% of responding rheumatologists believe that fibromyalgia is a useful clinical diagnosis. However, not a
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