Sustained Pain Reduction Through Affective Self-awareness in Fibromyalgia: A Randomized Controlled Trial
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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE
Affect and how it is regulated plays a role in pain perception, maintenance of pain, and its resolution. This randomized, controlled trial evaluated an innovative affective self-awareness (ASA) intervention, which was designed to reduce pain and improve functioning in individuals with fibromyalgia.
PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS
Forty-five women with fibromyalgia were randomized to a manualized ASA intervention (n = 24) or wait-list control (n = 21). The intervention began with a one-time physician consultation, followed by 3 weekly, 2-h group sessions based upon a mind-body model of pain. Sessions focused on structured written emotional disclosure and emotional awareness exercises. Outcomes in both conditions were measured by a blinded assessor at baseline, post-intervention, and 6-month follow-up.
The primary outcome was pain severity (Brief Pain Inventory); secondary outcomes included tender-point threshold and physical function (SF-36 Physical Component Summary). Intent-to-treat analyses compared groups on outcomes using analysis of covariance and on the proportion of patients achieving ≥30% and ≥50% pain reduction at 6 months.
Adjusting for baseline scores, the intervention group had significantly lower pain severity (p < 0.001), higher self-reported physical function (p < 0.001), and higher tender-point threshold (p = 0.02) at 6 months compared to the control group. From baseline to 6 months, 45.8% of the ASA intervention group had ≥30% reduction in pain severity, compared to none of the controls (p < 0.001).
The affective self-awareness intervention improved pain, tenderness, and self-reported physical function for at least 6 months in women with fibromyalgia compared to wait-list control. This study suggests the value of interventions targeting emotional processes in fibromyalgia, although further studies should evaluate the efficacy of this intervention relative to active controls.
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- Sustained Pain Reduction Through Affective Self-awareness in Fibromyalgia: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Journal of General Internal Medicine
Volume 25, Issue 10 , pp 1064-1070
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- 1. Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Kaiser-Permanente Northwest, Portland, OR, USA
- 2. Department of Internal Medicine, St. John Health/Providence Hospital and Medical Centers, 16001 W. Nine Mile Rd, Southfield, MI, 48075, USA
- 3. School of Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA
- 4. Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA
- 5. Department of Family Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA
- 6. Department of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
- 7. Department of Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
- 8. Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
- 9. Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA