Background: Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic widespread pain, and more than half of patients with fibromyalgia report that weather-related variables aggravate their symptoms. However, the differences in actual symptoms have not been measured between those with and without weather sensitivity. The present study aimed to investigate whether weather sensitivity associated with the minimal clinically important difference values of quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia, between those with and without weather sensitivity.
Methods: Sixty-four consecutive outpatients with fibromyalgia on their first visit to our tertiary center were included. Weather sensitivity was measured using self-perceived symptoms. Pain intensity was measured using the 0-10 Numerical Rating Scale (NRS). Quality of life was measured using the Euro Quality of life-5 Dimensions-3 level (EQ-5D-3L) scale. The variables were subjected to univariable and multivariable analysis using the EQ-5D-3L scale.
Results: The mean age of the patients was 50 years. Forty-eight patients (75%) were women. The mean EQ-5D-3L score was 0.55. Thirty-seven patients (58%) reported weather sensitivity. In univariable analysis, the welfare recipient, weather sensitivity, and NRS values were associated with EQ-5D-3L scale scores. In multivariable analysis, NRS value and weather sensitivity were independently associated with EQ-5D-3L scale scores. The NRS and EQ-5D-3L scale scores were significantly worse in those with weather sensitivity than those without weather sensitivity. The difference in NRS values was less than 1.5 points between groups. The differences in EQ-5D-3L scale scores were 0.16 points between groups.
Conclusions: Weather sensitivity was significantly associated with quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia. There was an association with weather sensitivity and the minimal clinically important difference values of quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia. The presence of weather sensitivity could have a key role in the quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia.
Keywords: Fibromyalgia; Observation; Pain; Quality of life; Weather.