Evidence of Benefit Lacking With Fibromyalgia Treatments, Analysis Finds

Evidence of Benefit Lacking With Fibromyalgia Treatments, Analysis Finds
Most therapies for fibromyalgia do not substantially ease pain or improve quality of life, an analysis indicates. Though the study found evidence supporting the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), antidepressants and central nervous system depressants, the effect of most treatments was generally small, and their clinical significance unclear. The analysis, "Association of Therapies With Reduced Pain and Improved Quality of Life in Patients With Fibromyalgia A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis," was published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Fibromyalgia is managed through a variety of treatments, from medications (pharmacological) to approaches like exercise and talk therapy (non-pharmacological).  Clinical trials are critical for determining whether any given therapy can effectively ease fibromyalgia symptoms, but any single trial will have limitations and design flaws. A meta-analysis is a statistical technique where researchers analyze combined data from multiple previous studies, potentially providing a more precise estimate of the effect of treatment than any individual study. Researchers in Brazil and Australia analyzed data from 224 clinical trials with a control group, and a total of 29,962 fibromyalgia patients. These trials assessed 65 different therapies, including both pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments, used alone or in various combinations. The researchers calculated these treatments' effects on pain — measured with a visual analog scale and other instruments — and on quality of life, which was assessed using the fibromyalgia impact questionnaire. The investigators specifically looked for high-quality evidence concerning the therapies, "which means that the estimated outcomes are unlikely
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