Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms may explain poor mental health in patients with fibromyalgia

J Health Psychol. 2017 May;22(6):697-706. doi: 10.1177/1359105315611957. Epub 2015 Oct 20.


Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are common in fibromyalgia patients. This study compared post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in fibromyalgia patients and healthy controls and determined whether patient-control differences in post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms mediated differences in mental health. In all, 30 patients and 30 healthy controls completed questionnaires assessing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and mental health. Fibromyalgia patients had greater symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and mental health than controls. Patient-control differences in mental health symptoms were fully or partially mediated by differences in post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. Healthcare providers should understand the role of trauma as management of trauma symptoms may be one strategy for improving mental health.

Keywords: anxiety; depression; pain; stress; trauma.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Fibromyalgia / complications
  • Fibromyalgia / psychology*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Mental Health*
  • Middle Aged
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / complications
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires