Both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions have demonstrated efficacy in the management of fibromyalgia (FM). Non-pharmacological interventions however are far less likely to be used in clinical settings, in part due to limited access. This manuscript presents the findings of a randomized controlled trail of an Internet-based exercise and behavioral self-management program for FM designed for use in the context of a routine clinical care. 118 individuals with FM were randomly assigned to either (a) standard care or (b) standard care plus access to a Web-Enhanced Behavioral Self-Management program (WEB-SM) grounded in cognitive and behavioral pain management principles. Individuals were assessed at baseline and again at 6 months for primary endpoints: reduction of pain and an improvement in physical functioning. Secondary outcomes included fatigue, sleep, anxiety and depressive symptoms, and a patient global impression of improvement. Individuals assigned to the WEB-SM condition reported significantly greater improvement in pain, physical functioning, and overall global improvement. Exercise and relaxation techniques were the most commonly used skills throughout the 6 month period. A no-contact, Internet-based, self-management intervention demonstrated efficacy on key outcomes for FM. While not everyone is expected to benefit from this approach, this study demonstrated that non-pharmacological interventions can be efficiently integrated into routine clinical practice with positive outcomes.
Copyright © 2010 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.