Session Title: Clinical Practice/Patient Care
Session Type: Abstract Submissions (ARHP)
Background/Purpose: What do fibromyalgia patients think causes their illness. We asked fibromyalgia syndrome patients to respond to a questionnaire which asked about potential etiologic factors.
Methods: 21 FMS office patients (18 women and 3 men) completed a questionnaire about the causes and nature of their disease.
Results: The following percentages of FMS patients agreed with the following statements about FMS: my illness is caused by allergies, 4.8%; my illness is caused by a bacteria or virus, 0%; my illness is caused by antibodies in my blood that are directed against my body chemistry, 23.8%; my immune system is attacking me, 23.8%; my illness is caused by stress, 47.6%; my illness is caused by a traumatic event, 42.9%; my illness is caused by food products, 14.3%; my illness is caused by environmental toxins, 9.5%; my illness involves a strong genetic component, 9.5%; the cause of my illness is unknown, 47.6%; none of the above are causes of FMS, 14.3%; my illness is commonly progressive, 33.3%; my illness is frequently fatal, 0%; my illness occurs with flares and remissions, 81.0%; I will have to take steroids to control my illness, 23.8%; my illness is diagnosed based solely on lab test results, 4.8%; my illness is diagnosed based on lab test results and my symptoms, 76.2%; medications to treat my illness have serious side effects that include cancer, 19.0%.
Conclusion: Fibromyalgia patients commonly think their illness is related to stress, previous trauma or the cause is unknown. However, some believe fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disease. About one third of patients think that fibromyalgia is a progressive illness. Some patients have other misconceptions based on the questionnaire.Further education from practitioners needs to be given to some fibromyalgia patients to disabuse them of certain incorrect assumptions regarding the etiology and the likely course of their illness
R. S. Katz,
J. L. Polyak,
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ACR Meeting Abstracts - https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/misperceptions-of-fms-patients-about-their-disease/