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Managing Mental Health and Fibromyalgia Pain: Patient Perspectives and Treatment Facts



According to a study, the results of a database search showed that treating pain symptoms is still a cause of irritation and an unmet demand for fibromyalgia sufferers.

Recommendations call for an interdisciplinary strategy that incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy, exercise, and education to manage fibromyalgia symptoms. The effectiveness and treatment plan, however, differ greatly amongst patients, partly because of extensive wait times for diagnosis (median 6.42 years) and delays in therapy.

Patient-centered approaches are generally associated with improved health outcomes and the development of successful self-management strategies, despite the fact that prior research has noted difficulties among patients and doctors over appropriate treatment for this patient population.

“However, healthcare professionals may use less patient-centered approaches in people with fibromyalgia compared to conditions with visible physical symptoms,” According to research. “Therefore, exploring and describing patient experiences with prescribed treatments and self-management strategies for fibromyalgia pain alleviation is necessary for the development of more patient and person-centered treatment approaches, while reducing the epistemic injustice faced by this patient group.”

Researchers employed a thorough search approach to locate studies where fibromyalgia adult patients talked about how they managed their pain and how effective they thought the medicines they were provided were. The GRADE-CERQual framework was utilized to evaluate the findings’ confidence, and an inductive theme analysis approach was employed to assess the outcomes.

In the end, 728 patients from 35 trials were analyzed, and the confidence level in the findings ranged from low to high. Based on patient perceptions, six themes came to light: pharmaceutical treatments; physical activity and exercise; psychological approach to pain management; disengagement from pain; a wish to comprehend fibromyalgia and pain management better; and complementary and alternative therapies.

Patients frequently refused the pharmaceutical treatment that was suggested by the search because of its negative effects, lack of effectiveness, and potential for addiction. Patients frequently described themselves as “walking pharmacy” or “walking chemists.” Patients reported that exercising either made their symptoms worse or helped them manage the level of their discomfort. While frequenting the gym was suggested as a key pain management tactic, some patients were afraid of exercise because of bad experiences in the past.

Patients emphasized that getting psychological assistance was crucial to managing their fibromyalgia. However, because telephone-based cognitive behavioral therapy did not personalize care and instead heightened stigma, many patients felt that it was unsuccessful.

Patients said that while supplementary and natural therapies including massage, acupuncture, and herbal remedies had short-term advantages, combining therapy with physical exercise produced better results. The majority of patients wanted to learn more about their illness and how to manage their pain, which included learning how to disengage from it.

The varied nature of the illness, as highlighted by the range of viewpoints on pain management options described, is what the investigators feel these results imply. As a result, they exhort medical professionals to use a customized, patient-centered therapy strategy.

While fibromyalgia can cause a wide range of symptoms, such as exhaustion and poor sleep, researchers concentrated their analysis on pain. As a result, they support further research into other physiological and psychological signs of the illness that affect a patient’s day-to-day activities.

“Taking everything into account, the lack of effective treatments for fibromyalgia resulting in long-term relief proves frustrating for patients and healthcare providers,” investigators concluded.
“These findings provide crucial insight for providers and researchers; and support the need for fibromyalgia phenotyping and precision medicine approaches to pain management.”


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