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(Study of quality of life of patients with fibromyalgia: impact of a health education programme) [Spanish] [with consumer summary]
Bosch Romero E, Saenz Moya N, Valls Esteve M, Vinolas Valer S
Atencion Primaria 2002;30(1):16-21
clinical trial
4/10 [Eligibility criteria: Yes; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: No; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: No; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: No; Adequate follow-up: No; Intention-to-treat analysis: No; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of a programme of health education on the quality of life and frequency of attendance of persons with fibromyalgia. DESIGN: Community clinical trial with randomised allocation. SETTING: Sant Joan Despi urban Health District (Barcelona), with a population of 13 282 inhabitants. PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: 67 women who attended our centre for consultation and were diagnosed with fibromyalgia by the Area Rheumatologist using the criteria of the American College of Rheumatology (1990). They were distributed at random into control and intervention groups. MAIN MEASUREMENTS: Social and demographic variables (age, marital status, educational background, job situation), health variables (physical exercise taken, current treatment, symptoms evolution time) and frequency of attendance were gathered. The Nottingham Health Profile (NHP) for measuring quality of life was administered. The presence of psychological malaise was determined through the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview. After the intervention, which consisted of four health education sessions, the NHP was administered again and frequency of attendance was measured again. RESULTS: The most important dimension on the NHP prior to intervention was pain (78.6 points), which was not modified either by physical exercise or the disease s time of evolution. Prevalence of psychological malaise was 64.6%. After the intervention there was a significant improvement in the pain dimension (p = 0.003). CONCLUSIONS: Health education for people with fibromyalgia modifies their perception of quality of life and reduces their pain. In addition, this kind of activity increases understanding of illness and reduces dependence on the health services.

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