Demographic, clinical, and treatment characteristics of the juvenile primary fibromyalgia syndrome cohort enrolled in the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance Legacy Registry

Pediatr Rheumatol Online J. 2019 Jul 26;17(1):51. doi: 10.1186/s12969-019-0356-z.


Background: To describe the demographic, clinical, and treatment characteristics of youth diagnosed with juvenile primary fibromyalgia syndrome (JPFS) who are seen in pediatric rheumatology clinics.

Methods: Information on demographics, symptoms, functioning, and treatments recommended and tried were obtained on patients with JPFS as part of a multi-site patient registry (the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance Legacy Registry). Data were summarized using descriptive statistics. In a subset of patients completing registry follow-up visits, changes in symptoms, pain, and functioning were evaluated using growth modeling.

Results: Of the 201 patients with JPFS enrolled in the registry, most were Caucasian/White (85%), non-Hispanic (83%), and female (84%). Ages ranged from 9 to 20 years (M = 15.4 + 2.2). The most common symptoms reported were widespread musculoskeletal pain (91%), fatigue (84%), disordered sleep (82%), and headaches (68%). Pain intensity was rated as moderate to severe (M = 6.3 + 2.4/10). Scores on measures of functioning indicated mild to moderate impairment, with males observed to report significantly greater impairments. For the 37% of the initial cohort having follow-up data available, indicators of function and well-being were found to either worsen over time or remain relatively unchanged.

Conclusions: The symptoms of JPFS remained persistent and disabling for many patients treated by pediatric rheumatologists. Further study appears warranted to elucidate gender differences in the impact of JPFS symptoms. Work also is needed to identify accessible and effective outpatient treatment options for JPFS that can be routinely recommended or implemented by pediatric rheumatology providers.

Keywords: Adolescent; CARRA; Juvenile fibromyalgia; Pain; Registry.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / epidemiology
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / therapy
  • Child
  • Chronic Pain / epidemiology
  • Chronic Pain / etiology
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Female
  • Fibromyalgia / epidemiology*
  • Fibromyalgia / therapy
  • Headache Disorders / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / epidemiology
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / etiology
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Quality of Life
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Antirheumatic Agents