1. AUTHOR Buskila-D, Neumann-L, Vaisberg-G, Alkalay-D, Wolfe-F.
INSTITUTION Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel.
TITLE Increased rates of fibromyalgia following cervical spine injury. A controlled study of 161 cases of traumatic injury.
SOURCE Arthritis-Rheum 1997 Mar, VOL: 40 (3), P: 446-52, ISSN: 0004-3591.

To study the relationship between cervical spine injury and the development of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS).


One hundred two patients with neck injury and 59 patients with leg fractures (control group) were assessed for nonarticular tenderness and the presence of FMS. A count of 18 tender points was conducted by thumb palpation; and tenderness thresholds were assessed by dolorimetry at 9 tender sites. All patients were interviewed about the presence and severity of neck and FMS-related symptoms. FMS was diagnosed using the American College of Rheumatology 1990 criteria. Additional questions assessed measures of physical functioning and quality of life (QOL).


Although no patient had a chronic pain syndrome prior to the trauma, FMS was diagnosed following injury in 21.6% of those with neck injury versus 1.7% of the control patients with lower extremity fractures (P = 0.001). Almost all symptoms were more common and severe in the group with neck injury. FMS was noted at a mean of 3.2 months (SD 1.1) after the trauma. Neck injury patients with FMS (n = 22) had more tenderness, had more severe and prevalent FMS-related symptoms, and reported lower QOL and more impaired physical functioning than did those without FMS (n = 80). In spite of the injury or the presence of FMS, all patients were employed at the time of examination. Twenty percent of patients with neck injury and 24% of patients with leg fractures filed an insurance claim. Claims were not associated with the presence of FMS, increased FMS symptoms, pain, or impaired functioning.


FMS was 13 times more frequent following neck injury than following lower extremity injury. All patients continued to be employed, and insurance claims were not increased in patients with FMS. Author.

2.AUTHOR Amir-M, Kaplan-Z, Neumann-L, Sharabani-R, Shani-N, Buskila-D.
INSTITUTION Department of Behavioral Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel. [email protected]
TITLE Posttraumatic stress disorder, tenderness and fibromyalgia.
SOURCE J-Psychosom-Res 1997 Jun, VOL: 42 (6), P: 607-13, ISSN: 0022-3999.
ABSTRACT The aims of the present study were to inquire into the prevalence of fibromyalgia syndrome, to assess nonarticular tenderness, to measure fibromyalgia syndrome-related symptoms, quality of life, and functional impairment among posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients as compared with control subjects. Furthermore, the differences between the PTSD patients with and without fibromyalgia syndrome were studied. Twenty-nine PTSD patients and 37 control subjects were assessed as to the diagnosis of fibromyalgia syndrome according to the American College of Rheumatology. Tenderness was assessed manually and with a dolorimeter. Fibromyalgia syndrome- related symptoms, quality of life, physical functioning, PTSD symptomatology, and psychiatric features were assessed by valid and reliable self-report inventories. Results showed that the prevalence of fibromyalgia syndrome in the PTSD group was 21% vs. 0% in the control group. Furthermore, the PTSD group was more tender than the control group. PTSD subjects suffering from fibromyalgia syndrome were more tender, reported more pain, lower quality of life, higher functional impairment and suffered more psychological distress than the PTSD patients not having fibromyalgia syndrome. It is suggested that previous reports on diffuse pain in PTSD in fact described undiagnosed fibromyalgia syndrome. The link between psychological stress and pain syndromes is emphasized. Author.
3. AUTHOR Aaron-L-A, Bradley-L-A, Alarcon-G-S, Triana-Alexander-M, Alexander-R- W, Martin-M-Y, Alberts-K-R.
INSTITUTION Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, University of Alabama, Birmingham 35294-0012, USA.
TITLE Perceived physical and emotional trauma as precipitating events in fibromyalgia. Associations with health care seeking and disability status but not pain severity.
SOURCE Arthritis-Rheum 1997 Mar, VOL: 40 (3), P: 453-60, ISSN: 0004-3591.

We examined relationships between perceived physical and emotional trauma that occur prior to, or that initiate, pain onset and health care seeking for fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). We also assessed associations between perceived trauma and levels of health care usage, symptom severity, functional disability, and receipt of disability compensation among patients with FMS.


We evaluated these variables using interviews and standardized instruments in a consecutive series of FMS patients and community residents who met the American College of Rheumatology criteria for FMS but had not sought medical care ("nonpatients").


Emotional trauma was associated with status as an FMS patient independently of demographics, physical trauma, and sexual/physical abuse (P = 0.007). Among patients, emotional trauma was related to a high number of physician visits (P = 0.013), functional disability ratings (P = 0.012), and fatigue (P = 0.029), but physical trauma was associated with receipt of disability compensation (P = 0.019). Trauma history was not related to pain severity or pain thresholds.


Perception of physical trauma is a greater determinant of disability compensation for FMS than is perceived emotional trauma, symptom severity, or functional disability. Effort should be devoted to understanding the social and legal factors underlying this observation, as well as to reducing high health care usage among FMS patients with emotional trauma. Author.

4. AUTHOR Turk-D-C, Okifuji-A, Starz-T-W, Sinclair-J-D.
INSTITUTION Department of Anesthesiology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.
TITLE Effects of type of symptom onset on psychological distress and disability in fibromyalgia syndrome patients.
SOURCE Pain 1996 Dec, VOL: 68 (2-3), P: 423-30, ISSN: 0304-3959.
ABSTRACT The purpose of the study was to investigate the differences between two types of onset (post-traumatic versus idiopathic) in pain, disability, and psychological distress in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FS). Forty-six FS patients with post-traumatic onset and 46 FM patients with idiopathic onset, who were matched in age and pain duration, were included in the study. All participants completed self-report inventories assessing their adaptation to the pain conditions, and during the medical examination, an examining physician completed an inventory (Medical Examination and Diagnostic Information Coding System; MEDICS) to indicate the degree of physical abnormality. The analysis revealed that the degrees of physical abnormality of the patients were comparable in the two groups. However, controlling for the involvement with financial compensation issues (e.g. disability, litigation), the post-traumatic FS patients reported significantly higher degrees of pain, disability, life interference, and affective distress as well as lower level of activity than did the idiopathic FS patients. Furthermore, evaluation of the treatment history in these patients revealed that a significantly larger number of the posttraumatic FS patients were receiving opioid medications and had been treated with nerve block, physical therapy, and TENS. The results suggest that (1) post-traumatic onset is associated with high level of difficulties in adaptation to chronic FS symptoms and (2) FS patients are a heterogeneous group of patients. Author.
5. AUTHOR Walker-E-A, Katon-W-J, Keegan-D, Gardner-G, Sullivan-M.
INSTITUTION University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon.
TITLE Predictors of physician frustration in the care of patients with rheumatological complaints (see comments).
SOURCE Gen-Hosp-Psychiatry 1997 Sep, VOL: 19 (5), P: 315-23, ISSN: 0163-8343.
CM Comment in: Gen-Hosp-Psychiatry 1997 Sep; 19(5):313-4.
ABSTRACT Recent studies of the doctor-patient relationship have shown that certain patients are perceived as frustrating or difficult by their doctors; however, little is known about the characteristics of these patients that elicit this dissatisfaction. As part of a larger study of rheumatology clinic patients with fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis (N = 68) we used stepwise multiple regression to select the factors most associated with physician frustration while controlling for the effects of other variables. Variable domains included demographics, psychiatric diagnoses, personality factors, functional disability, disease state, and trauma history. These domains as well as individual variables within these domains were systematically evaluated for their unique contribution to the prediction of physician frustration as measured by the Difficult Doctor-Patient Relationship Questionnaire (DDPRQ). Initial bivariate correlates of physician frustration included marital status, current dysthymia and agoraphobia, lifetime panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, adult rape and physical abuse, somatization disorder, physical and social disability, the presence of fibromyalgia, as well as neuroticism, illness impact, and perceived loss of control. The best multivariable model for estimating frustration magnitude included somatization disorder, perception of lack of control over illness, and a lifetime history of obsessive-compulsive disorder. These factors explained 48% of the variance in DDPRQ score. Physicians in this study were most frustrated with patients who had ongoing preoccupation with multiple medically unexplained physical symptoms as well as the perception of greater impact and lack of control over their illness. These findings suggest that treatment of somatization in patients with chronic symptoms may decrease physician frustration. Author.

[Return to article]

Copyright 2008 Electronic Handbook of Legal Medicine