Rainbow at shoreline

The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association, a 501(c)3 founded in 1985, exists to meet the needs of patients with CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) or FM (Fibromyalgia), their families and loved ones. The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association works to educate health-care providers and the general public regarding these severely-disabling physical illnesses. We also support patients and their families and advocate for more effective treatment and research.

Journal of Rheumatology, Jul 15, 2011;38(7).

The Longitudinal Outcome of Fibromyalgia: A Study of 1555 Patients.

Brian Walitt, Mary-Ann Fitzcharles, Afton L. Hassett, Robert S. Katz, Winfried Häuser
and Frederick Wolfe

Author Affiliations:

From Georgetown University, Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC; Montreal General Hospital, Division of Rheumatology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Department of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois; Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany; and the National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases and University of Kansas School of Medicine, Wichita, Kansas, USA.

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE:
To describe the diagnosis status and outcome of patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia (FM) by US rheumatologists.

METHODS:
We assessed 1555 patients with FM with detailed outcome questionnaires during 11,006 semiannual observations for up to 11 years. At entry, all patients satisfied American College of Rheumatology preliminary 2010 FM criteria modified for survey research. We determined diagnosis status, rates of improvement, responder subgroups, and standardized mean differences (effect sizes) between start and study completion scores of global well-being, pain, sleep problems, and health related quality of life. (QOL)

RESULTS:
The 5-year improvement rates were pain 0.4 (95% CI 0.2, 0.5), fatigue 0.4 (95% CI 0.2, 0.05), and global 0.0 (95% CI -0.1, 0.1). The standardized mean differences were patient global 0.03 (95% CI -0.02, 0.08), pain 0.22 (95% CI 0.16, 0.28), sleep problems 0.20 (95% CI 0.14, 0.25), physical component summary of the Short-form 36 (SF-36) 0.11 (95% CI -0.14, -0.07), and SF-36 mental component summary 0.03 (95% CI -0.07, 0.02). Patients switched between criteria-positive and criteria-negative states, with 716 patients (44.0%) failing to meet criteria at least once during 4228.5 patient-years (7448 observations). About 10% of patients had substantial improvement and about 15% had moderate improvement of pain. Overall, FM severity worsened in 35.9% and pain in 38.6%.

CONCLUSION:
Although we found no average clinically meaningful improvement in symptom severity overall, 25% had at least moderate improvement of pain over time. The result that emerged from this longitudinal study was one of generally continuing high levels of self-reported symptoms and distress for most patients, but a slight trend toward improvement.

SOURCE: Abstract retrieved from PUBMED (PMID 21765102).

Full Text article was printed on July 15, 2011, doi: 10.3899/jrheum.110026.

To access the full article requires subscription to the Journal of Rheumatology. Physicians or interested parties can either subscribe to the print and/or online journal or use the "pay per article" option. 

 

 

 

 

Notice about names

The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association would like to clarify the use of the various acronyms for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Chronic Fatigue & Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) and  Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) on this site. When we generate our own articles on the illness, we will refer to it as ME/CFS, the term now generally used in the United States. When we are reporting on someone else’s report, we will use the term they use. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) are currently using ME/CFS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are calling the illness CFS.

Until there is consensus on a name for the illness, the Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association name will not change.