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Effects of perceptive rehabilitation and mobilization methods on symptoms and disability in patients with fibromyalgia: A preliminary randomized control trial.

BACKGROUND: Currently, there is no definitive cure for fibromyalgia. Instead, treatments focus of reducing symptoms and disability.

AIMS: This randomized controlled study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of perceptive rehabilitation and soft tissue and joint mobilization on the severity of symptoms and disability in fibromyalgia compared with a control group.

METHODS: A total of 55 fibromyalgia patients were randomized into three groups: perceptive rehabilitation, mobilization, and control. The impact of fibromyalgia was evaluated using the Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQR; primary outcome). Pain intensity, fatigue severity, depression, and sleep quality were secondary outcome measures. Data were collected at baseline (T0), the end of treatment (8 weeks; T1), and the end of 3 months (T2).

RESULTS: Statistically significant differences were found in between-groups comparisons at T1 for primary and secondary outcome measurements (p < .05), except for sleep quality. Both the perceptive rehabilitation and mobilization groups had statistically significant differences at T1 over the control group (p < .05). Between-group pairwise comparisons showed statistically significant differences between the perceptive and control groups for all outcome measures at T1 (p < .05). Similarly, statistically significant differences existed between the mobilization and control groups for all outcome measures at T1 (p < .05), except the FIQR overall impact scores. All other variables except depression were statistically similar between groups at T2.

CONCLUSION: This study shows that perceptive rehabilitation and mobilization therapy are similarly effective in improving fibromyalgia symptoms and disability, but the effects disappear within 3 months. Further research is needed to understand how the improvements could be maintained longer.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinical Trial Registration number, Identifier: NCT03705910.

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