Internet-enhanced Management of Fibromyalgia: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Pain. 2010 Dec;151(3):694-702. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2010.08.034. Epub 2010 Sep 19.

Abstract

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.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Fibromyalgia / psychology
  • Fibromyalgia / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Self Care
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Telemedicine*
  • Treatment Outcome