Fibromyalgia Symptom Severity Remains Mostly Unchanged for Decades, Study Finds

Fibromyalgia Symptom Severity Remains Mostly Unchanged for Decades, Study Finds
A study in Finland that revisited patients with fibromyalgia 26 years after their diagnoses found that the severity of symptoms had remained relatively unchanged. Researchers did not find significant deterioration in the patients' self-reported ability to function. The study, titled “Severity of symptoms persists for decades in fibromyalgia — a 26-year follow-up study,” was published in the journal Clinical Rheumatology. The study included 28 patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1986 who filled out a follow-up questionnaire some 26 years later. The average age of patients who filled out the surveys was 70. The survey contained 52 questions, including from the Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), a self-reported assessment of ability to function. Ability to function was found to have remained at the same level by the end of the study, compared to the time of diagnosis. Three patients said they had recovered from fibromyalgia (11 percent), and six (23 percent) reported having had one or more symptomless periods that lasted for at least one year. A slight deterioration in all symptoms except pain and ache was reported in 25 of the 28 respondents. But the "sum score of reported symptoms did not change significantly," the researchers wrote. More sleeplessness was reported by 27 of the respondents. The most common symptoms reported at both the beginning and the end of the study by the same patients w
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3 comments

  1. Denise Bault says:

    “Three patients said they recovered from fibromyalgia…”
    Wouldn’t this article be a lot more helpful if it stated HOW those three people recovered? I’d certainly like to read about that!

  2. Karen says:

    I was diagnosed about 15 years ago. I would say that my fibromyalgia has not gotten better. I, too would like to know how those people recovered. Maybe they were misdiagnosed

  3. Michele Garrison says:

    I have talked to people who claimed to recover. After discussion, their symptoms didn’t go away, rather they developed methods and support systems to help them be functional.

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