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Biofeedback/relaxation training and exercise interventions for fibromyalgia: a prospective trial
Buckelew SP, Conway R, Parker J, Deuser WE, Read J, Witty TE, Hewett JE, Minor M, Johnson JC, van Male L, McIntosh MJ, Nigh M, Kay DR
Arthritis Care & Research 1998 Jun;11(3):196-209
clinical trial
6/10 [Eligibility criteria: Yes; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: No; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: No; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: Yes; Adequate follow-up: Yes; 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 compare the effectiveness of biofeedback/relaxation, exercise, and a combined program for the treatment of fibromyalgia. METHODS: Subjects (n = 119) were randomly assigned to one of 4 groups: (1) biofeedback/relaxation training, (2) exercise training, (3) a combination treatment, or (4) an educational/attention control program. RESULTS: All 3 treatment groups produced improvements in self-efficacy for function relative to the control condition. In addition, all treatment groups were significantly different from the control group on tender point index scores, reflecting a modest deterioration by the attention control group rather than improvements by the treatment groups. The exercise and combination groups also resulted in modest improvements on a physical activity measure. The combination group best maintained benefits across the 2-year period. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that these 3 treatment interventions result in improved self-efficacy for physical function which was best maintained by the combination group.
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