, Volume 226, Issue 1, pp 137-143
Date: 26 Jan 2013

Bilateral deficits in fine motor control ability and manual dexterity in women with fibromyalgia syndrome

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Abstract

The aim of the current study was to investigate fine motor control ability and manual dexterity women with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) without symptoms in the upper extremity compared to healthy women. Subtests of the Purdue Pegboard Test (one-hand, bilateral and assembly) and of the Jebsen–Taylor hand-function test (writing, turning cards, picking up small, light and large heavy objects, simulated feeding and stacking checkers) were evaluated bilaterally in 20 women with FMS (aged 35–55 years) without symptoms in the upper limb and 20 age- and hand dominance-matched healthy women. Differences between sides and groups were analysed with several analysis of variance (ANOVA). The ANOVA revealed significant differences between groups (P < 0.001) and sides (P = 0.007) for one-hand pin placement subtest: women with FMS showed bilateral worse scores than controls. Patients also exhibited significantly lower scores in bilateral pin placement and assembly subtests when compared to healthy controls (P < 0.001). The ANOVA also revealed significant differences between groups for writing, turning over cards, picking up small objects, stacking checkers, picking up large light objects and picking up large heavy objects (all, P < 0.001): women with FMS needed more time for these subtests than healthy women with both hands. No difference for simulated feeding was found between groups. Our findings revealed bilateral deficits in fine motor control ability and manual dexterity in patients with FMS without symptoms in the upper extremity. These deficits are not related to the clinical features of the symptoms supporting an underlying central mechanism of altered motor control.