Effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy in the treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome: a meta-analytic literature review

  • A. Minelli | alessandra.minelli@med.unibs.it Department of Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnologies - Biology and Genetic Division - University of Brescia. Viale Europa 11, 25123 Brescia, Italy, Italy.
  • A. Vaona

Abstract

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic disorder caused by a dysfunction of central nervous system sensitization. This syndrome is characterized by widespread pain and diffuse tenderness, but often also presents fatigue, sleep disturbances, and a whole range of symptoms such as morning stiffness, decreased physical function and dyscognition. FM is usually treated with pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments. The non-pharmacological interventions include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), physiotherapy, acupuncture and patient education programs. In order to evaluate the efficacy of CBT and compare it with other non-pharmacological treatments, we performed a review of the meta-analytic literature. We evaluated the methodological quality of publications found by following the recommendations of the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement. Data showed that CBT does not provide better results than other non-pharmacological treatments on outcomes of pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance and quality of life, at either a short or long-term evaluation. On the contrary, CBT seems to be more effective on symptoms of depression for a short period, whereas it considerably improves the pain self-management and reduces the number of visits to the doctor. The data currently available indicate that cost-effectiveness studies could help us to understand whether the reduction in the number of visits to the doctor could balance the cost of CBT to the health public system.

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Published
2012-07-19
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Keywords:
cognitive behavioral therapy, fibromyalgia syndrome, meta-analysis, systematic review
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How to Cite
Minelli, A., & Vaona, A. (2012). Effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy in the treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome: a meta-analytic literature review. Reumatismo, 64(3), 151-157. https://doi.org/10.4081/reumatismo.2012.151