The comparative burden of mild, moderate and severe Fibromyalgia: Results from a cross-sectional survey in the United States

Caroline Schaefer, Arthi Chandran, Meghan Hufstader, Rebecca Baik, Michael McNett, Don Goldenberg, Robert Gerwin, Gergana Zlateva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Fibromyalgia (FM) is characterized by chronic, widespread pain, fatigue, and other symptoms; yet few studies have comprehensively assessed its humanistic burden. This observational study evaluates the impact of FM severity on patients' symptoms, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and productivity in the United States.Methods: 203 FM subjects were recruited from 20 physician offices. Subjects completed a questionnaire including the EuroQol 5D (EQ-5D), Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), Multidimensional Assessment of Fatigue (MAF), Medical Outcomes Study Sleep Scale (MOS-SS), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and questions about demographics, pain and other symptoms, HRQoL and productivity. FIQ total scores were used to define FM severity, with 0- < 39, 39- < 59, and 59-100, representing mild, moderate, and severe FM, respectively. Sites recorded subjects' clinical characteristics and FM treatment on case report forms using medical records. Summary statistics were calculated for continuous variables and frequency distributions for categorical variables. Differences across FM severity groups were evaluated using the Kruskal-Wallis or Chi-square tests. Statistical significance was evaluated at the 0.05 level.Results: Mean (SD) age was 47.9 (10.9); 95% were female. Most (92%) were prescribed medication for FM; 24% and 66% reported moderate and severe FM, respectively. Mean (SD) scores were: 6.3 (2.1) for pain intensity; 0.35 (0.35) for EQ-5D; 30.7 (14.2) for MAF; 57.5 (18.4) for MOS-SS Sleep Problems Index; 10.2 (4.8) for HADS anxiety and 9.4 (4.4) for HADS depression. Subjects with worse FM severity reported significantly increased pain severity, HRQoL, fatigue, sleep disturbance, anxiety and depression (p < 0.001). Overall, 50% of subjects reported some disruption in their employment due to FM; this differed across severity levels (p < 0.001). Employed subjects missed a mean (SD) of 1.8 (3.9) workdays during the past 4 weeks; this also differed across severity levels (p = 0.03).Conclusions: FM imposes a substantial humanistic burden on patients in the United States, and leads to substantial productivity loss, despite treatment. This burden is higher among subjects with worse FM severity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number71
JournalHealth and Quality of Life Outcomes
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 22 2011

Keywords

  • Burden of Illness
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Health Resources
  • Quality of Life
  • patient Outcomes Assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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