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WE FEEL: Fibromyalgia Is a Burden

Posted Dec 21 2010 8:49am
Pain by artist007
We really need more research on the impact fibromyalgia has on a person living with it.

So when I learned about the WE FEEL survey ( Women Expressing Fibromyalgia's Effects on their Everyday Lives ), I knew I needed to share an overview of the results here as well as spread the word about this study on Twitter.

While the results certainly don't surprise me, I think it is important for health care providers, family member and friends to read these results.

  • For many, life with fibromyalgia is burden of moderate to severe symptoms that interfere with quality of life
  • Many patients feel their symptoms are not taken seriously
  • Many patients suffer for years before they get a fibromyalgia diagnosis
  • An early diagnosis can often mean a better outcome
  • Having fibromyalgia makes it difficult to do things like household chores or work outside the home
  • Persons with fibromyalgia enjoy less quality time with family and friends
  • Positive social support and adequate coping resources are often limited
  • A combination of medical treatment and social support was found to be helpful in decreasing fibromyalgia symptoms and increasing the ability to manage day-to-day life
I also found the following results about treatment modalities interesting as well.
  • Four in ten patients (42%) who take prescription medication said that their drug therapy was successful in improving fibromyalgia symptoms
  • Exercise (46%) and alternative therapies (43%) like massage, meditation, and chiropractic care were identified as treatments that improved fibromyalgia symptoms
  • Just over half of the respondents (51%) said that lifestyle changes helped improve fibromyalgia symptoms
  • Those participants who reported receiving more support from their spouse (56%) and/or children (61%) also reported more positive benefits from treatment
The take-away message for me is that people living with fibromyalgia need more support from medical providers, family and friends. Better drug therapies that do an improved job of targeting symptoms are needed. Health insurance needs to cover proven alternative therapies and occupational therapy programs that teach lifestyle changes so that patients have a chance to obtain better symptom management.

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