original abstract†Abstracts 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.
OBJECTIVES: Although fibromyalgia criteria have been in effect for decades, little is known about how the fibromyalgia diagnosis is applied and understood by clinicians and patients. We used the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to determine the prevalence of self-reported clinician diagnosed fibromyalgia and then compared demographics, symptoms, disability and medical utilization measures of persons with a clinical diagnosis of fibromyalgia that did not meet diagnostic criteria (false-positive or prior [F/P] fibromyalgia) to persons with and without criteria-positive fibromyalgia.
METHODS: The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) collected information about both clinical diagnosis and symptoms of fibromyalgia that was appropriately weighted to represent 225,726,257 US adults. Surrogate NHIS diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia were developed based on the level of polysymptomatic distress (PSD) as characterized in the 2011 modified American College of Rheumatology criteria (ACR) for fibromyalgia. Persons with F/P fibromyalgia were compared with persons who do not have fibromyalgia and those meeting surrogate NHIS fibromyalgia criteria.
RESULTS: Of the 1.78% of persons reporting a clinical diagnosis, 73.5% did not meet NHIS fibromyalgia criteria. The prevalence of F/P fibromyalgia is 1.3%. F/P fibromyalgia is associated with a mild degree of polysymptomatic distress (NHIS PSD score 6.2) and characterized by frequent but not widespread pain and insomnia. Measures of work disability and medical utilization in F/P fibromyalgia were equal to that seen with NHIS criteria positive fibromyalgia and were 6-7x greater in F/P fibromyalgia than in non-fibromyalgia persons. F/P fibromyalgia was best predicted by being female (Odds Ratio [OR] 8.81), married (OR 3.27), and white (OR 1.96). In contrast, being a white, married woman was only modestly predictive of NHIS (criteria positive) fibromyalgia (OR 2.1).
CONCLUSIONS: The majority of clinically diagnosed fibromyalgia cases in the US do not reach levels of severity necessary and sufficient for diagnosis. The clinical diagnosis of fibromyalgia is disproportionally dependent on demographic and social factors rather than the symptoms themselves. Diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia appear to be used as a vague guide by clinicians and patients, and allow for substantial diagnostic expansion of fibromyalgia.
Specifically regarding Walitt 2016:
- “75% of Persons in the General Population Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia Don’t Have It, But It Is Worse Than That … – The Fibromyalgia Perplex,” a webpage on www.fmperplex.com.
These two articles on PainScience.com cite Walitt 2016 as a source:
- PS Vitamin D for Pain — Is it safe and reasonable for chronic pain patients to take higher doses of Vitamin D? And just how high is safe?
- PS Chronic, Subtle, Systemic Inflammation — One possible sneaky cause of puzzling chronic pain
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:
- A Bayesian model-averaged meta-analysis of the power pose effect with informed and default priors: the case of felt power. Gronau 2017 Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology.
- The neck and headaches. Bogduk 2014 Neurol Clin.
- Agreement of self-reported items and clinically assessed nerve root involvement (or sciatica) in a primary care setting. Konstantinou 2012 Eur Spine J.
- Effect of NSAIDs on Recovery From Acute Skeletal Muscle Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Morelli 2017 Am J Sports Med.
- Association of Spinal Manipulative Therapy With Clinical Benefit and Harm for Acute Low Back Pain: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Paige 2017 JAMA.