Fibromyalgia Highly Prevalent Among Chronic Pain Patients in Korea, Study Reports

Fibromyalgia Highly Prevalent Among Chronic Pain Patients in Korea, Study Reports
Based on the modified 2010 American College of Rheumatology criteria, the prevalence of fibromyalgia is relatively high among chronic pain patients referred to outpatient pain clinics in Korea, an epidemiological study reports. Consequently, pain physicians should keep in mind the prevalence of this condition when diagnosing these patients, researchers suggest. The study, "Prevalence of fibromyalgia in fourteen Korean tertiary care university hospital pain clinics," was published in the Journal of Pain Research. Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread muscle pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and memory and mood issues. Chronic pain, one of the hallmarks of the condition, is caused by alterations in the brain and the central nervous system, which causes the body to overreact to pain and other external stimuli, such as noise, smell, and bright lights. In 1990, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) defined the first diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia, but this set of guidelines was considered by many as highly subjective, time-consuming, and noninclusive. In an attempt to improve this system, the ACR released new diagnostic criteria in 2010 specifically designed to facilitate their application in clinical practice. "In these revised 2010 criteria, a widespread pain index (WPI), a specific type of self-report scale, was included in place of the previous tender point diagnostic criteria. A symptom severity (SS) scale was also proposed, with a focus on the comorbid symptoms experienced by FM [fibromyalgia] patients," the investigators wrote. Despite the improvements, the 2010 ACR criteria still required the presence of a certified physician to assess the presence and severity of patients' symptoms. In 2011, the ACR criteria were modified again
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