Fibromyalgia is a prevalent and disabling disorder characterized by widespread pain and other symptoms such as insomnia, fatigue or depression. Catastrophization is considered a key clinical symptom in fibromyalgia; however, there are no studies on the pharmacological or psychological treatment of catastrophizing. The general aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness of cognitive-behaviour therapy and recommended pharmacological treatment for fibromyalgia (pregabalin, with duloxetine added where there is a comorbid depression), compared with usual treatment at primary care level.
Design: A multi-centre, randomized controlled trial involving three groups: the control group, consisting of usual treatment at primary care level, and two intervention groups, one consisting of cognitive-behaviour therapy, and the other consisting of the recommended pharmacological treatment for fibromyalgia.
Setting: 29 primary care health centres in the city of Zaragoza, Spain.
Sample: 180 patients, aged 18–65 years, able to understand and read Spanish, who fulfil criteria for primary fibromyalgia, with no previous psychological treatment, and no pharmacological treatment or their acceptance to discontinue it two weeks before the onset of the study.
Intervention: Psychological treatment is based on the manualized protocol developed by Prof. Escobar et al, from the University of New Jersey, for the treatment of somatoform disorders, which has been adapted by our group for the treatment of fibromyalgia. It includes 10 weekly sessions of cognitive-behaviour therapy. Pharmacological therapy consists of the recommended pharmacological treatment for fibromyalgia: pregabalin (300–600 mg/day), with duloxetine (60–120 mg/day) added where there is a comorbid depression).
Measurements: The following socio-demographic data will be collected: sex, age, marital status, education, occupation and social class. The diagnosis of psychiatric disorders will be made with the Structured Polyvalent Psychiatric Interview. Other instruments to be administered are the Pain Catastrophizing Scale, the Hamilton tests for Anxiety and for Depression, the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), the EuroQuol-5 domains (EQ-5D), and the use of health and social services (CSRI). Assessments will be carried out at baseline, 1, 3, and 6 months.
Main variable: Pain catastrophizing.
Analysis: The analysis will be per intent to treat. We will use the general linear models of the SPSS version 15 statistical package, to analyse the effect of the treatment on the result variable (pain catastrophizing).
It is necessary to assess the effectiveness of pharmacological and psychological treatments for pain catastrophizing in fibromyalgia. This randomized clinical trial will determine whether both treatments are effective for this important prognostic variable in patients with fibromyalgia.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN10804772