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bibliography*The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Janzen 2019.

A parallel randomized controlled trial examining the effects of rhythmic sensory stimulation on fibromyalgia symptoms


Tags: treatment, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, pain problems

PainSci summary of Janzen 2019?This page is one of thousands in the bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible.

The paper looks like a legitimate, peer-reviewed report on a test of product that supposedly treats pain, dementia, and more with just sound. However, the experiment and paper are poor quality; the authors report positive conclusions that are not justified by the data. Hopefully that alone would stop it from getting through peer review, but the paper also prominently promotes and links to an advertisement for the consumer medical gadget they tested, the Sound Oasis Vibroacoustic Therapy System VTS-1000. And when you follow that link, you find not just an “advertisement,” but a classic example of aggressive marketing of an unproven treatment method, with all the usual red flags (testimonials and such), leaning especially hard on a terrible TEDx video (“Music Medicine: Sound at a cellular level”).

In my opinion, this paper was probably conceived of and perpetrated as part of a stealth marketing campaign, an advertorial they didn’t have to pay for.

original abstractAbstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

This double-blind, two-arm parallel randomized controlled trial investigated the effects of gamma-frequency rhythmic sensory stimulation on fibromyalgia. We were interested in whether rhythmic sensory stimulation would promote significant changes in fibromyalgia and associated symptoms, and whether treatment effects would differ between two distinct treatment parameters. Fifty patients with a formal diagnosis of fibromyalgia were randomly assigned to two test groups. One group received vibrotactile stimulation from a continuous sine wave single-frequency stimulation (40 Hz) for 30 minutes, five days per week, over five weeks, concomitant with usual care. The second group completed the same treatment protocol but received a different stimulation, consisting of random and intermittent complex wave gamma-range vibrotactile stimulation. Fibromyalgia symptoms, pain severity and interference, depression symptoms, quality of life and sleep quality were assessed at baseline and post-intervention. Results indicated that there were statistically significant changes from baseline to post-treatment in measures of fibromyalgia symptom severity, pain interference, depression, and sleep quality. However, treatment outcomes did not differ significantly between groups. These findings provide preliminary evidence that gamma-frequency rhythmic vibroacoustic stimulation may decrease fibromyalgia symptoms and ease associated comorbidities, opening new avenues for further investigation of the effects of rhythmic sensory stimulation on chronic pain conditions.

This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights: