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Identifying Fibromyalgia-Associated Symptoms and Conditions from a Clinical Perspective: A Step Toward Evaluating Healthcare Resource Utilization in Fibromyalgia.

Pain Pract. 2010 May 12;

Authors: Silverman SL, Harnett J, Zlateva G, Mardekian J

Abstract Objective: The study aims to determine from the physician's perspective, the conditions and symptoms most relevant to the diagnosis of fibromyalgia (FM) for identifying International Classification of Diseases-diagnosis codes and prescription medications to evaluate FM-related healthcare resource utilization. Methods: A questionnaire was administered using an online physician network (SERMO) from which responses of 102 physicians were evaluated: anesthesiologists (n = 6), neurologists (n = 18), primary care physicians (n = 16), pain specialists (n = 16), psychiatrists (n = 15), and rheumatologists (n = 31). Physicians scored the relative importance to a diagnosis of FM (0 = least relevant/important, 10 = most relevant/important) of 24 conditions and symptoms derived from a list provided by the National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases. Conditions and symptoms with mean scores >/= 5 were considered the most relevant. Other survey questions included treatment goals, assessment of disease severity, medication use, and characterization of the physicians' experience and clinical practice. Results: Ten conditions and symptoms (mean score) were reported as most relevant: Muscle pain (8.7), Fatigue/tiredness (8.5), Insomnia (8.0), Depression (7.8), Thinking/remembering (6.7), Nervousness (6.0), Muscle weakness (5.9), Headache (5.7), Irritable bowel syndrome (5.5), and Pain/cramps in abdomen (5.1). Treatment goals, severity assessment, and use of medications were generally similar across physician specialties. Conclusions: This survey identified 10 conditions and symptoms that physician respondents considered most relevant to a diagnosis of FM. Further evaluation to determine how these conditions and symptoms contribute to FM-associated healthcare resource utilization is warranted.

PMID: 20492578 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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