Background: A guideline for the treatment and diagnostic procedures for fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) was developed in cooperation with 10 German medical and psychological associations and 2 patient self-help groups.
Methods: A systematic literature search including all controlled studies evaluating physiotherapy, exercise and strength training as well as physical therapies was performed in the Cochrane Collaboration Reviews (1993-12/2006), Medline (1980-12/2006), PsychInfo (1966-12/2006) and Scopus (1980-12/2006). Levels of evidence were assigned according to the classification system of the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine. Grading of the strengths of recommendations was done according to the German program for disease management guidelines. Standardized procedures to reach a consensus on recommendations were used.
Results: Patient's information at first diagnosis of FMS is strongly recommended (grade A). Patient-centered communication is recommended (grade B). A stepwise treatment approach depending on the adapatation to restrictions in daily life and response to treatment options can be considered (grade C).
Conclusions: The long-term treatment should be based on principles of basic psychosomatic care and shared decision making on treatment options.