Association of fibromyalgia characteristics in patients with non-metastatic breast cancer and the protective role of resilience

Michal Schrier, Daniela Amital, Yoav Arnson, Alan Rubinow, Arie Altaman, Bella Nissenabaum, Howard Amital
Rheumatology International 2012, 32 (10): 3017-23
Cancer patients often complain about weakness, fatigue, and pain. The aim of this study was to assess the features of the fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) characteristics in patients with non-metastatic breast cancer. The study group included 40 women whose age ranged from 40 to 70 years with Stages 0-3 breast cancer. The control group included 40 healthy women matched by age. A diagnosis of FMS was established based on medical history, physical examination, and the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ). Pain measures and functional factors were evaluated by the Brief Pain Inventory and the Sheehan Questionnaire. Resilience was assessed by Antanovsky's Sense of Coherence Questionnaire. Psychiatric disturbances were tested by the MINI Questionnaire and Hamilton questionnaires for depression and anxiety. The prevalence of chronic pain was higher in the study group. Statistically significant differences were also found between the group regarding pain, fatigue, and functional measures. The prevalence of depressive or anxious mood, measured by the Hamilton questionnaires, was strongly related to FMS characteristics reflected by FIQ scores (r = 0.79 between FIQ and the Hamilton Depression Index and r = 0.75 between FIQ and the Hamilton Anxiety Scale). The sense of coherence measure for these patients demonstrated an inverse correlation with pain, fatigue, and functional capability. Women with breast cancer tend to develop chronic widespread pain syndromes more often than do healthy women.

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