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Arthritis Care Res. 2000 Aug;13(4):198-204.

Sustained improvement produced by nonpharmacologic intervention in fibromyalgia: results of a pilot study.

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  • 1Complementary Medicine Program, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA.



The aim of this pilot study was to examine the practicality of delivering a package of nonpharmacologic, behavioral-based treatment, previously found to be effective in chronic back pain, to patients with fibromyalgia (FM) and to assess the efficacy of the intervention using a range of outcome measures up to 4 months posttreatment.


Participants with FM (n = 28) formed a single group for 8 sessions at weekly intervals. Each session comprised an education/cognitive-behavioral component, formal relaxation/meditation training, and instruction in a Chinese movement therapy (Qi Gong).


Twenty of 28 subjects completed at least 5 of the 8 sessions. Significant improvement was seen in the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire and a range of other outcome measures including tender points and pain threshold. Improvement was sustained 4 months after the end of the intervention.


A simple behavioral intervention using large groups can be administered to subjects with FM and appears to produce sustained benefit in a range of outcomes. Controlled trials are currently being planned.

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