Body reprogramming for fibromyalgia and central sensitivity syndrome: A preliminary evaluation

SAGE Open Med. 2023 Oct 31:11:20503121231207207. doi: 10.1177/20503121231207207. eCollection 2023.


Objectives: Central sensitivity syndrome disorders such as fibromyalgia, provoke continued debate, highlighting diagnostic and therapeutic uncertainty. The Hyland model provides a way of understanding and treating the medically unexplained symptoms of central sensitivity syndromes using complexity theory and principles of adaption in network systems. The body reprogramming is a multi-modal intervention based on the Hyland model designed for patients living with medically unexplained symptoms. This preliminary, naturalistic and single-arm service evaluation set out to evaluate outcome after attending a body reprogramming course in patients living with fibromyalgia or central sensitivity syndrome.

Methods: Patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia or central sensitivity syndrome were recruited. The body reprogramming courses consisting of eight sessions, each 2.5 h in length, were run at two study sites in England. Data were collected at baseline, post course and 3-months post course using questionnaires assessing symptomatology (FIQR/SIQR), Depression (PHQ9), Anxiety (GAD7) and quality of life (GQoL). Repeated measures t-tests were used, and all comparisons were conducted on an intention to treat basis.

Results: In total, 198 patients with a mean age of 47.73 years were enrolled on the body reprogramming courses. Statistically and clinically significant improvement were observed in the FIQR from baseline to post course (mean change: 11.28) and baseline to follow-up (mean change: 15.09). PHQ9 scores also improved significantly from baseline to post course (mean reduction 3.72) and baseline to follow-up (mean reduction 5.59).

Conclusions: Our study provides first evidence that the body reprogramming intervention is an effective approach for patients living with fibromyalgia or central sensitivity syndromes on a variety of clinical measures. Besides these promising results, important limitations of the study are discussed, and larger randomized controlled trials are clearly warranted.

Keywords: Fibromyalgia; Hyland model; adaptive network theory; body reprogramming; central sensitivity syndromes.