Fibromyalgia: aetiology, diagnosis, symptoms and management

Br J Nurs. 2006 Jul;15(13):729-33. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2006.15.13.21487.


Fibromyalgia is believed to affect about 2% of the UK population, predominantly women, and is characterized by the symptoms of widespread musculoskeletal pain, persistent fatigue, non-refreshing sleep and generalized stiffness. It is also accompanied by a variety of associated symptoms which can appear baffling to both patient and doctor alike. Research into this often dismissed syndrome has increased exponentially over the last two decades and the evidence is growing to support an underlying pathology involving pain amplification, sleep abnormalities, hormonal imbalance and autonomic nervous system dysfunction. This review looks at diagnosis, research and current treatment options and offers an insight into the patients' experience with the medical and nursing professions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Fibromyalgia* / diagnosis
  • Fibromyalgia* / etiology
  • Fibromyalgia* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Nurse's Role
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Care
  • Time Management