Objective: To compare the effectiveness of biofeedback/relaxation, exercise, and a combined program for the treatment of fibromyalgia.
Methods: Subjects (n = 119) were randomly assigned to one of 4 groups: 1) biofeedback/relaxation training, 2) exercise training, 3) a combination treatment, or 4) an educational/attention control program.
Results: All 3 treatment groups produced improvements in self-efficacy for function relative to the control condition. In addition, all treatment groups were significantly different from the control group on tender point index scores, reflecting a modest deterioration by the attention control group rather than improvements by the treatment groups. The exercise and combination groups also resulted in modest improvements on a physical activity measure. The combination group best maintained benefits across the 2-year period.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that these 3 treatment interventions result in improved self-efficacy for physical function which was best maintained by the combination group.