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Ger Med Sci. 2008 Dec 9;6:Doc14.

Management of fibromyalgia syndrome--an interdisciplinary evidence-based guideline.

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Department of Internal Medicine I, Klinikum Saarbrücken, Germany.


The prevalence of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) of 1-2% in the general population associated with high disease-related costs and the conflicting data on treatment effectiveness had led to the development of evidence-based guidelines designed to provide patients and physicians guidance in selecting among the alternatives. Until now no evidence-based interdisciplinary (including patients) guideline for the management of FMS was available in Europe. Therefore a guideline for the management of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) was developed by 13 German medical and psychological associations and two patient self-help organisations. The task was coordinated by two German scientific umbrella organisations, the Association of the Scientific Medical Societies in Germany AWMF and the German Interdisciplinary Association of Pain Therapy DIVS. A systematic search of the literature including all controlled studies, systematic reviews and meta-analyses of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments of FMS was performed in the Cochrane Library (1993-12/2006), Medline (1980-12/2006), PsychInfo (1966-12/2006) and Scopus (1980-12/ 2006). Levels of evidence were assigned according to the classification system of the Oxford-Centre for Evidence Based Medicine. Grading of the strengths of recommendations was done according to the German program for disease management guidelines. Standardized procedures were used to reach a consensus on recommendations. The guideline was reviewed and finally approved by the boards of the societies involved and published online by the AWMF on april 25, 2008: A short version of the guideline for patients is available as well: The following procedures in the management of fms were strongly recommended: information on diagnosis and therapeutic options and patient-centered communication, aerobic exercise, cognitive and operant behavioural therapy, multicomponent treatment and amitriptyline. Based on expert opinion, a stepwise FMS-management was proposed. Step 1 comprises confirming the diagnosis and patient education and treatment of physical or mental comorbidities or aerobic exercise or cognitive behavioural therapy or amitriptyline. Step 2 includes multicomponent treatment. Step 3 comprises no further treatment or self-management (aerobic exercise, stress management) and/or booster multicomponent therapy and/or pharmacological therapy (duloxetine or fluoxetine or paroxetine or pregabalin or tramadol/aminoacetophen) and/or psychotherapy (hypnotherapy or written emotional disclosure) and/or physical therapy (balneotherapy or whole body heat therapy) and/or complementary therapies (homeopathy or vegetarian diet). The choice of treatment options should be based on informed decision-making and respect of the patients' preferences.


fibromyalgia syndrome; guideline; management; systematic review

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