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Arthritis Rheum. 1997 Apr;40(4):752-60.

Primary juvenile fibromyalgia: psychological adjustment, family functioning, coping, and functional disability.

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The Toronto Hospital, General Division, Psychology, Ontario, Canada.



1) To determine the importance of psychological adjustment and family functioning in primary juvenile fibromyalgia by assessing these factors in children with fibromyalgia and in their parents, compared with children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) and with pain-free control children and their parents. 2) To examine which of these factors predict functional disability.


Fifteen children in each of the 3 study groups, and their parents, completed self-report questionnaires and pain diaries. A medical evaluation of each child was performed, including assessment of tender points by palpation and by dolorimetry.


All children in the fibromyalgia group met the Yunus and Masi criteria for fibromyalgia, and 11 met the American College of Rheumatology criteria. There were almost no significant group differences in the children's or parents' psychological adjustment, ratings of family functioning, or coping strategies. Significant group differences in functional disability, pain, fatigue, tender point threshold, and control point tolerance were found. A number of the psychological adjustment, pain, fatigue, and coping variables were significantly associated with functional disability.


The notion that fibromyalgia is a psychogenic condition is not supported by these results. Fibromyalgia is associated with disability of a magnitude comparable to that of other chronic pain conditions. Disability among children with fibromyalgia or JRA is a function of the children's psychological adjustment and physical state, and of the parents' physical state and method of coping with pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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