One treatment in particular, however, may produce better results than other methods being used to alleviate chronic pain symptoms in those with fibromyalgia.

Published in the Scandinavian Journal of Pain, a new report reviewed the impact of using cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) to treat women with fibromyaglia.2 The study’s findings revealed that using CBT does produce positive outcomes in this particular patient population.

The study’s authors recruited its study population by advertising in a local daily newspaper in central Sweden and an information meeting with the local branch of the Fibromyalgia Patient Association. Six out of the 54 female patients recruited were excluded from the study.

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The mean age of the study population was 49 years of age and about 85% of them were married. Approximately 10% reported to be smokers. Patients had an average pain history length of more than ten years (more than five years with a fibromyalgia diagnosis).

Researchers randomized 48 female patients into a CBT treatment group and a waitlist control group (there was a six-month waitlist period for members placed into this group). The study’s authors gave CBT treatment to those in the waitlist control group at the end of six months. This enabled researchers to review two analytical approaches: “one based on the randomized controlled trial design and one based on a before-and-after design to improve the statistical power of the study.”2