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Logo of bmcmudisBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2012; 13: 74.
Published online May 18, 2012. doi:  10.1186/1471-2474-13-74
PMCID: PMC3444387
The German fibromyalgia consumer reports – a cross-sectional survey
Winfried Häuser,corresponding author1,2 Eva Jung,1,2 Brigitte Erbslöh-Möller,3 Mechthild Gesmann,4 Hedi Kühn-Becker,5 Franz Petermann,6 Jost Langhorst,7 Reinhard Thoma,8 Thomas Weiss,9 Frederick Wolfe,10 and Andreas Winkelmann11
1Department Internal Medicine I, Klinikum Saarbrücken, Saarbrücken, D-66119, Germany
2Department of Psychosomatic medicine and psychotherapy, Technische Universität München, München, D-81675, Germany
3Rheumatology Office, Neunkirchen, D-66538, Germany
4Psychosomatic medicine and pain therapy office, Herford, D- 32049, Germany
5Psychosomatic medicine and pain therapy office, Zweibrücken, D-66432, Germany
6Centre of clinical psychology and rehabilitation, Universität Bremen, Bremen, D- 28359, Germany
7Department Internal Medicine V (Integrative Medicine), Kliniken Essen-Mitte, Universität Essen-Duisburg, Essen, D-45726, Germany
8Algesiologikum München, München, 80799, Germany
9Day clinic Mannheim Dr. Weiss, Mannheim, D-68161, Germany
10National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases, Wichita, Kansas and University of Kansas School of Medicine, Wichita, KS, USA
11Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Klinikum der, Universität München, München, D-80336, Germany
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Winfried Häuser: whaeuser/at/; Eva Jung: eva220979/at/; Brigitte Erbslöh-Möller: praxis.em/at/; Mechthild Gesmann: medges/at/; Hedi Kühn-Becker: hkbe/at/; Franz Petermann: fpeterm/at/; Jost Langhorst: J.Langhorst/at/; Reinhard Thoma: thoma/at/; Thomas Weiss: info/at/; Frederick Wolfe: fwolfe/at/; Andreas Winkelmann: Andreas.Winkelmann/at/
Received November 28, 2011; Accepted May 7, 2012.
Consumer surveys provide information on effectiveness and side effects of medical interventions in routine clinical care. A report of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) consumers has not been carried out in Europe.
The study was carried out from November 2010 to April 2011. Participants diagnosed with FMS rated the effectiveness and side effects of pharmacological and non-pharmacological FMS interventions on a 0 to 10 scale, with 10 being most efficacious (harmful). The questionnaire was distributed by the German League for people with Arthritis and Rheumatism and the German Fibromyalgia Association to their members and to all consecutive FMS patients of nine clinical centers of different levels of care.
1661 questionnaires (95% women, mean age 54 years, mean duration since FMS diagnosis 6.8 years) were analysed. The most frequently used therapies were self-management strategies, prescription pain medication and aerobic exercise. The highest average effectiveness was attributed to whole body and local warmth therapies, thermal bathes, FMS education and resting. The highest average side effects were attributed to strong opioids, local cold therapy, gamma-amino-butyric acid analogues (pregabalin and gabapentin), tramadol and opioid transdermal systems.
The German fibromyalgia consumer reports highlight the importance of non-pharmcological therapies in the long-term management of FMS, and challenges the strong recommendations for drug therapies given by FMS-guidelines.
Keywords: Fibromyalgia syndrome, Consumer reports, Drugs, Non-pharmacological therapies
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