Treatment outcomes after multidisciplinary pain rehabilitation with analgesic medication withdrawal for patients with fibromyalgia

Pain Med. 2007 Jan-Feb;8(1):8-16. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2007.00253.x.


Objective: This study of patients with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia (FM) was conducted to test the hypothesis that immediate posttreatment measures of psychosocial functioning, health attributes, negative pain-related emotions, and depressive symptoms improve significantly during multidisciplinary pain rehabilitation while concurrently withdrawing analgesic medications.

Design: Prospective case series.

Setting: Multidisciplinary pain rehabilitation center at a tertiary referral medical center.

Patients: In total, 159 consecutive patients with a diagnosis of FM admitted to the pain rehabilitation program from January 2002 to December 2003.

Interventions: A 3-week outpatient multidisciplinary pain rehabilitation program based on a cognitive-behavioral model that incorporates analgesic medication withdrawal.

Outcome measures: Multidimensional Pain Inventory (MPI), Short Form-36 Health Status Questionnaire (SF-36), Coping Strategies Questionnaire-Catastrophizing subscale (CSQ-C), and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression scale (CES-D) were administered at admission and dismissal and the mean differences in scores were compared using paired t-tests. The number of patients using opioid analgesics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), benzodiazepines, and muscle relaxants at admission and dismissal were compared using chi-squared analyses.

Results: The difference in admission and dismissal scores from the MPI, SF-36, CSQ-C, and CES-D demonstrated a favorable response to treatment (P < 0.001). Compared with admission, the number of patients using opioids (P < 0.001), NSAIDs (P < 0.001), benzodiazepines (P < 0.001), and muscle relaxants (P < 0.01) at program dismissal was significantly reduced.

Conclusion: The results of this study support the hypothesis that immediate posttreatment measures of physical and emotional functioning are favorable for patients with FM following multidisciplinary pain rehabilitation that incorporates withdrawal of analgesic medications.

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Fibromyalgia / rehabilitation*
  • Fibromyalgia / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Pain Clinics*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Analgesics