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Targeting Catastrophic Thinking to Promote Return to Work in Individuals With Fibromyalgia

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In this study, a sample of 30 individuals with fibromyalgia (FM) were enrolled in a 10-week risk factor targeted intervention designed to promote return to work. Participants completed measures of pain severity, pain catastrophizing, fear of movement, depression, and self-reported disability at three points in time through the course of the intervention. Results showed that most individuals with FM were agreeable to participate in the return-to-work intervention. Treatment response of individuals with FM was compared to a matched sample of individuals with chronic low back pain (CLBP). Analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that both groups showed comparable reductions in pain catastrophizing, depression, and fear of movement through the course of treatment. Individuals with FM were less likely than individuals with CLBP to show clinically meaningful reductions in pain severity and self-reported disability. Patients with FM were less likely to return to work (23%) than participants with CLBP (50%). The findings suggest that although individuals with FM are more treatment resistant than individuals with CLBP, a significant proportion can still benefit from participation in a rehabilitation intervention with a stated objective of return to work. Implications of the findings for the structure and content of rehabilitation interventions for FM are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2012

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