The fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) disconnect – provisions FMS patients need from their healthcare versus what they actually receive: a rehabilitation scientist’s perspective

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Nicole Marlow


The recently released Institute of Medicine report – Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research – calls for a “cultural transformation” in order “to better prevent, assess, treat and understand pain of all types”. Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain disorder that affects 4-10 million Americans and 0.5-6% of the world population. It is the most common chronic pain condition seen by rheumatologists and general medicine providers and is reported much more frequently among women than men (75-90% of cases). The symptoms of FMS often contribute to increased disability and reduced health-related quality of life. The literature regarding the “patient experience” for these individuals highlights the substantial dissension between (and the consequent need for improvements pertaining to) their direct health needs and the actual provisions of their healthcare. The present paper addresses how healthcare providers, educators and/or researchers might address this disconnect as part of the efforts to increase the person-centeredness of clinical services.

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