A Survey of Conventional and Complementary Therapies Used by Youth With Juvenile-Onset Fibromyalgia

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Little is known regarding treatment choices of youth diagnosed with juvenile-onset fibromyalgia (JFM) as they move into young adulthood. Additionally, there is little empirical evidence to guide youth with FM into appropriate treatment options, leading to a variety of therapies used to manage FM symptoms. The purpose of this descriptive study was to examine all therapies used by individuals with JFM as they entered young adulthood and the perceived effectiveness of these treatments. As part of a larger follow-up study, participants completed a web-based survey of all current and past treatments received for FM symptoms 2 years after their initial presentation and diagnosis at a pediatric rheumatology clinic. One hundred ten out of 118 eligible patients participated in the follow-up assessment as young adults (mean age 18.97 years; 93.6% female). A majority of participants reported use of conventional medications (e.g., antidepressants, anticonvulsants) and nondrug therapies (e.g., psychotherapy). Currently and within the past 2 years, antidepressant medications were the most commonly used to manage FM. Complementary treatments were used less often, with massage being the most popular choice. Although currently used treatments were reported as being effective, past treatments, especially medications, were viewed as being more variably effective. This is a potential reason why young adults with JFM might try more complementary and alternative approaches to managing their symptoms. More controlled studies are needed to investigate the effectiveness of these complementary methods to assist treatment providers in giving evidence-based treatment recommendations. © 2013 American Society for Pain Management Nursing.



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