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Soc Sci Med. 1990;31(8):941-7.

A comparative study of feelings, attitudes and behaviors of patients with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.

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University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Nursing, Omaha 68198.


The purpose of this explorative study was to administer a battery of questionnaires related to a broad number of psychosocial factors in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FS). By doing this, psychological factors associated with the consequences of chronic pain in patients with FS could be identified and studied in more depth. Thirty-one patients with FS were compared to 30 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with regard to feelings about self, pain/ache preoccupation, support from significant others, psychosomatic symptoms, activities of daily living, job satisfaction, and future expectations. The results of the study showed that patients with FS had significantly more negative feelings toward themselves, were more preoccupied with thinking about their pain/ache, received more practical help from significant others, experienced more limitations with regard to activities of daily living, and experienced more negative feelings about employment than patients with RA. Patients with FS were also more pessimistic about future employment than RA patients.

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