Background: Fibromyalgia diagnosis is a challenging and long process, especially among primary care physicians (PCPs), because of symptom heterogeneity, co-morbidities and clinical overlap with other disorders. The purpose was to develop and validate a screening tool in French (FR), German (DE) and English (UK) to help PCPs identify patients with fibromyalgia.
Methods: The FibroDetect questionnaire was simultaneously developed in FR, DE and UK based on information obtained from a literature review, focus groups conducted with clinicians, and face-to-face interviews with fibromyalgia patients (FR, DE and UK, n = 23). The resulting tool was comprehension-tested in patients with diagnosed or suspected fibromyalgia (n = 3 and n = 2 in each country, respectively). Acceptability and applicability were assessed and the tool modified accordingly, then assessed in clinical practice. A scoring method was created using an iterative process based on statistical and clinical considerations with American College of Rheumatology + (ACR+) patients and ACR- patients (n = 276), and validated with fibromyalgia and non-fibromyalgia patients (n = 312).
Results: The FibroDetect included 14 questions assessing patients' pain and fatigue, personal history and attitudes, symptoms and impact on lives. Six questions were retained in the final scoring, demonstrating satisfactory discriminative power between ACR + and ACR- patients with area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve of 0.74. The predictive accuracy of the tool increased to 0.86 for fibromyalgia and non-fibromyalgia patient detection, with a sensitivity of 90% and a specificity of 67% for a cut-off of 6 on the score.
Conclusions: The FibroDetect is a self-administered tool that can be used as a screening classification surrogate to the ACR criteria in primary care settings to help PCPs detect potential fibromyalgia patients among a population complaining of chronic widespread pain.