Date: Sunday, October 21, 2018
Session Title: Fibromyalgia and Other Clinical Pain Syndromes Poster
Session Type: ACR Poster Session A
Session Time: 9:00AM-11:00AM
Fibromyalgia patients can be time consuming to treat and difficult to manage. Especially challenging fibromyalgia patients tend to have many symptoms, ask many questions, are sometimes non-believing in their diagnosis. Some call this group ‘catastrophizers’. We evaluated the difficulty of caring for fibromyalgia patients in a rheumatology office practice.
A rheumatologist and a rheumatology nurse both independently assessed the perceived difficulty of taking care of individual fibromyalgia patients. The difficulty of caring for each patient was discussed between the doctor and the rheumatology nurse until there was an agreement. Each patient met the 2010 ACR criteria for the diagnosis.
Patients were rated on a scale of one through three to indicate how challenging and exhausting they were to treat. (1 = easy; 2= moderate; 3 = difficult) Factors considered included the patient’s attitude and needs, the difficulty to treat, time spent compared with treating other rheumatic disease patients, and, in general, how challenging they were as patients.
350 fibromyalgia patients followed in a rheumatology office practice were evaluated. 132 (37.7%) patients were judged to be in Category One, easy to care for. 170 (48.6%) patients were considered to be in Category Two, moderately challenging for the rheumatologist and nurse. 48 (13.7%) patients were judged to be in Category Three, especially difficult to care for.
Most fibromyalgia patients (86.3%) were rated by the rheumatologist and nurse as moderate or easy to care for. These patients appreciated the care given and the expertise, and were willing to consider lifestyle changes and medication.
Only 13.7% of the fibromyalgia patients in this office practice were considered to be exhausting and especially challenging to care for.
Fibromyalgia patients have an undeserved reputation for being extremely difficult to care for. The majority are not.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Katz RS, Kwan L. Fibromyalgia Patients Are Frequently Thought to be Challenging to Treat-Are They? [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2018; 70 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/fibromyalgia-patients-are-frequently-thought-to-be-challenging-to-treat-are-they/. Accessed September 24, 2021.
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ACR Meeting Abstracts - https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/fibromyalgia-patients-are-frequently-thought-to-be-challenging-to-treat-are-they/