Lifetime post-traumatic stress symptoms are related to the health-related quality of life and severity of pain/fatigue in patients with fibromyalgia

L Dell'Osso, C Carmassi, G Consoli, C Conversano, C E Ramacciotti, L Musetti, E Massimetti, I Pergentini, M Corsi, A Ciapparelli, L Bazzichi
Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology 2011, 29 (6 Suppl 69): S73-8

OBJECTIVES: The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of lifetime potentially traumatic events, including losses, and of post-traumatic stress symptoms on the severity of illness and health-related quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia (FM).

METHODS: Seventy patients with FM, diagnosed according to the American College of Rheumatology criteria, were consecutively enrolled at the Unit of Rheumatology of the University of Pisa, Italy. Assessments included: SCID-I/P; the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) and the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 Health Survey (MOS SF-36), for the severity of pain; the Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL); the Trauma and Loss Spectrum Self-Report (TALS-SR) life-time version.

RESULTS: The FIQ total score was related to the number of loss events (Domain I) and to symptoms of grief reactions (Domain II) and re-experiencing (Domain V) of the TALS-SR. The 'VAS fatigue' scores (FIQ) were significantly related to the TALS-SR symptoms of grief reactions (Domain II) and re-experiencing (Domain V). The Mental Component Summary and Bodily Pain scores of the MOS SF-36 were significantly related to all TALS-SR domains, the latter with the exception of the VIII (Arousal).

CONCLUSIONS: Our results corroborate the presence of a relationship between the lifetime exposure to potentially traumatic events, in particular loss events, and lifetime post-traumatic stress symptoms and the severity of illness and HRQoL in patients with FM.

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