We really need more research on the impact fibromyalgia has on a person living with it.
So when I learned about the WE FEEL survey (Women Expressing Fibromyalgia's Effects on their Everyday Lives), I knew I needed to share an overview of the results here as well as spread the word about this study on Twitter.
While the results certainly don't surprise me, I think it is important for health care providers, family member and friends to read these results.
- For many, life with fibromyalgia is burden of moderate to severe symptoms that interfere with quality of life
- Many patients feel their symptoms are not taken seriously
- Many patients suffer for years before they get a fibromyalgia diagnosis
- An early diagnosis can often mean a better outcome
- Having fibromyalgia makes it difficult to do things like household chores or work outside the home
- Persons with fibromyalgia enjoy less quality time with family and friends
- Positive social support and adequate coping resources are often limited
- A combination of medical treatment and social support was found to be helpful in decreasing fibromyalgia symptoms and increasing the ability to manage day-to-day life
- Four in ten patients (42%) who take prescription medication said that their drug therapy was successful in improving fibromyalgia symptoms
- Exercise (46%) and alternative therapies (43%) like massage, meditation, and chiropractic care were identified as treatments that improved fibromyalgia symptoms
- Just over half of the respondents (51%) said that lifestyle changes helped improve fibromyalgia symptoms
- Those participants who reported receiving more support from their spouse (56%) and/or children (61%) also reported more positive benefits from treatment