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Predicting Fibromyalgia Outcome

This study reports the factors that determined outcome from fibromyalgia in 44 patients. Researchers investigated pressure tenderness, work capacity, subjective improvement, pain reports, disturbed sleep, lack of energy reports, disability, depression measures, and number of negative life events.

The study found that "adequate physical exercise and increasing age predicted a positive outcome, while receiving a permanent disability pension or having an excess of major negative life events predicted a negative outcome." Interestingly, the study found that symptom duration did not affect outcome pain and disability levels.

In concluding, the author states, "...one may do FS patients a disservice by granting them lifelong disability pensions."

Wigers SH. Fibromyalgia outcome: the predictive values of symptom duration, physical activity, disability pension, and critical life events — a 4.5 year prospective study. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 1996;41(2):235-243.