"Clinical approach to fibromyalgia: Synthesis of Evidence-based recommendations, a systematic review"

Reumatol Clin. Mar-Apr 2016;12(2):65-71. doi: 10.1016/j.reuma.2015.06.001. Epub 2015 Oct 16.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Objectives: Efforts have been made to standardise evidence-based practice, but clinical practice guidelines do not always follow strict development methods. The objective of this review is to identify the current guidelines, analyse the variability of its recommendations and make a synthesis for clinical practice.

Material and methods: A systematic review of clinical practice guidelines was made in electronic databases and guidelines databases; using "fibromyalgia" AND ["guideline" OR "Clinical Practice guideline"] as terms, from January for 2003 to July of 2013. Guidelines were selected according to the following criteria: a) aimed to fibromyalgia treatment in adults; b) based on scientific evidence, systematically searched; c) evidence levels and strength of recommendation included; d) written in English or Spanish.

Results: From 249 initial results, six guides fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Clinical practice guidelines analysed in this review show great variability both in the presence and level of evidence and in the strength of recommendation of many treatments. Physical exercise and cognitive-behavioural therapy are first-line treatments, showing high level of evidence. Amitriptyline, used for short periods of time for pain control, is the pharmacologic treatment with the most solid evidence. The multimodal approach reported better results than the isolated application of any treatment.

Conclusions: Final recommendations in this review identify optimal treatments, facilitating the translation of evidence into practice and enabling more efficient and effective quality care.

Keywords: Chronic pain; Clinical practice guidelines; Dolor crónico; Evidence-based practice; Fibromialgia; Fibromyalgia; Guías de práctica clínica; Práctica basada en la evidencia; Revisión sistemática; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Fibromyalgia / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic