Effects of a Six-Week Interdisciplinary Program on Depression, Anxiety and Pain in Patients with Fibromyalgia
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Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition characterized by widespread pain and tenderness. Patients with Fibromyalgia report pain, fatigue, emotional distress, depression and disability. Because the etiology is unknown, the treatment of Fibromyalgia is mostly symptomatic and various pharmacological, physical and interdisciplinary treatments are used. The present study evaluates the effect of a six-week interdisciplinary group therapy program on the treatment outcome of patients with Fibromyalgia. The study hypothesized a decrease in levels of pain, depression and anxiety following participation in the program. In addition, the study also evaluates the effect of duration of time between diagnosis and treatment outcome. Fifty patients with Fibromyalgia were administered three self-report measures -Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), Burns Anxiety Inventory and Wong-Baker FACESPain Rating Scale before and after program participation. Paired t-tests between the pain ratings, level of depression and anxiety showed a statistical difference between the two scores (pre-treatment and post-treatment). Repeated measures analysis of variance revealed a significant decrease in level of anxiety in patients who received treatment within six months of diagnosis compared with those treated greater than six months post diagnosis. However, no significant difference was found between patients who received treatment within six months of diagnosis and patients treated greater than six months of their diagnosis on pain and depression. Even though there was a decrease in pain and depression ratings in both the groups, the difference was not found to be significant. The study illuminated the fact that therapy helped alleviate symptoms of pain, depression and anxiety in patients with Fibromyalgia. In addition, "early" treatment of Fibromyalgia appears to be more effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety in patients.