Pain acceptance and its impact on function and symptoms in fibromyalgia
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Objectives Fibromyalgia is a chronic widespread pain (CWP) syndrome of unknown etiology with substantial burden of illness and functional impairment. Pain acceptance has emerged as an interesting target of therapy in chronic pain populations, but few studies have yet been done on the effect of pain acceptance on patients with fibromyalgia. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between pain acceptance and its impact on function and symptoms in fibromyalgia with both a cross-sectional and longitudinal design. Methods Three hundred and sixty five participants aged 22–70 with fibromyalgia were recruited from the Norwegian Fibromyalgia Association (NFA). They filled out a questionnaire containing the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), measurement of function and symptoms, and Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire (CPAQ), measurement of pain acceptance, in addition to sociodemographic and clinical variables such as degree of fibromyalgia, depression and pain duration (T1 measures). One year after, 87 of the participants filled out the FIQ and clinical measures once again (T2 measures). Unadjusted and adjusted linear regression analyses were performed both for cross-sectional measures at T1 and for longitudinal measures from T1 to T2, with FIQ score as the outcome variable and CPAQ score at T1 as one of the main independent variables. Results Higher CPAQ score was significantly associated with a lower FIQ score at T1, also when adjusting for age, education, work, depression and Fibromyalgianess Score (p<0.01). Lower FIQ score indicate less impact of fibromyalgia on functioning. In addition, two adjusted linear regression models found higher pain acceptance (CPAQ score) at T1 to be associated with lower negative impact of fibromyalgia on function and symptoms (FIQ score) at T2 (p<0.01). Conclusions Higher pain acceptance is associated with better functional level and less symptoms in fibromyalgia, both cross-sectionally and when measurements are separated in time. Further research should include experimental studies with acceptance-based interventions for this patient group.