Perceived function and physical performance are associated with pain and fatigue in women with fibromyalgia

Arthritis Res Ther. 2016 Mar 16:18:68. doi: 10.1186/s13075-016-0954-9.


Background: Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by chronic widespread muscle pain and fatigue and associated with significant impairment in perceived function and reduced physical performance. The purpose of this study was to determine the degree to which pain and fatigue are associated with perceived function and physical performance in women with fibromyalgia.

Methods: Hierarchical linear regression determined the contribution of pain and fatigue (Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) for resting, movement and combined) to perceived function (Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire Revised - Function Subscale, FIQR-Function), Multidimensional Assessment of Fatigue - Activities of Daily Living (MAF-ADL) and SF-36 Physical Function Subscale (SF-36-PF) and physical performance (6-Minute Walk Test, 6MWT and Five Time Sit To Stand, 5TSTS) while controlling for age, body mass index, pain catastrophizing, fear of movement, anxiety, and depression in women with fibromyalgia (N = 94).

Results: For perceived function, movement pain and movement fatigue together better predicted FIQR-function (adjusted R(2) = 0.42, p ≤ 0.001); MAF-ADL (adjusted R(2) = 0.41, p ≤ 0.001); and SF-36-PF function (adjusted R(2) = 0.34, p ≤ 0.001). For physical performance measures, movement pain and fatigue together predicted 6MWT distance (adjusted R(2) = 0.42, p ≤ 0.001) and movement fatigue alone predicted performance time on the 5TSTS (adjusted R(2) = 0.20, p ≤ 0.001).

Conclusions: Pain and fatigue are significantly associated with and explain more than one-third of the variance in perceived function and physical performance in women with fibromyalgia.

Trial registration: NIH

Registration: NCT01888640 . Registered 13 June 2013.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living* / psychology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Pain / epidemiology*
  • Chronic Pain / etiology
  • Fatigue / epidemiology*
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Female
  • Fibromyalgia / complications*
  • Fibromyalgia / psychology
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Perception
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation
  • Young Adult

Associated data