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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Self-assessed physical function levels of women with fibromyalgia: a national survey

Jessie Jones, Dana N Rutledge, Kim Dupree Jones, Lynne Matallana, Daniel S Rooks
Women's Health Issues: Official Publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health 2008, 18 (5): 406-12
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OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine the self-reported physical function level of women with fibromyalgia (FM).

METHODS: We performed a secondary analysis using data from an Internet-based survey posted on the National Fibromyalgia Association website. Data used for this study included women (n = 1,735) aged 31-78 years who reported being diagnosed with FM.

RESULTS: More than 25% of women reported having difficulty taking care of personal needs and bathing, and >60% reported difficulty doing light household tasks, going up/down 1 flight of stairs, walking (1/2) mile, and lifting or carrying 10 lbs. More than 90% of women reported having difficulty doing heavy household tasks, lifting or carrying 25 lbs, and doing strenuous activities. Women with lower functional ability reported higher levels of fatigue, pain, spasticity, depression, restless legs, balance problems, dizziness, fear of falling, and bladder problems.

CONCLUSIONS: The average woman in this sample reported having less functional ability related to activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living than the average community-dwelling woman in her 80s. Several symptoms/conditions were found to be associated with functional limitation in women with FM. Targeting these-singly or in clusters-may potentially be important in terms of future interventions.

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