Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic disorder that can have a devastating effect on patients’ lives. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a 6-week interdisciplinary treatment that combines coordinated PSYchological, Medical, Educational, and PHYsiotherapeutic interventions (PSYMEPHY) compared with standard pharmacologic care. The study was a randomized controlled trial (54 participants in the PSYMEPHY group and 56 in the control group [CG] ) with follow-up at 6 months. PSYMEPHY patients were also assessed at 12 months. The main outcomes were changes in total Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) score, pain, fatigue, morning tiredness, anxiety, and use of pain coping strategies as measured by the FIQ, the visual analog scale, and the Coping with Chronic Pain Questionnaire. Following the 6-month assessment, patients in the CG were offered the PSYMEPHY treatment, and completed all of the instruments immediately after treatment, and at 6- and 12-month follow-up visits (N = 93). Six months after the intervention, significant improvements in total FIQ score (P = 0.04), and pain (P = 0.03) were seen in the PSYMEPHY group compared with controls. Twelve months after the intervention, all patients in the PSYMEPHY group maintained statistically significant improvements in total FIQ score, and pain, and exhibited an improvement in fatigue, rested, anxiety, and current pain compared with baseline. Data from the control patients who underwent the PSYMEPHY intervention corroborated the initial results.
This study highlighted the beneficial effects of an interdisciplinary treatment for FM patients in a hospital pain management unit. A 6-week interdisciplinary intervention displayed significant improvement in key domains of fibromyalgia, as quality of life, pain, fatigue, rested, and anxiety at 12 months.