Study author Bo Karlsson, general practitioner at Gimo Primary Health Care Center, told Clinical Pain Advisor in an interview that the findings of the report revealed that CBT “improved life control and improved the coping strategies for the patients.”

“It also had positive effect on depression, vital exhaustion and stress behaviour,” he said. “This in spite of higher subjective ratings of pain. Strategies for coping with pain are more important than treating pain itself.”

CBT could be used in addition other treatments to treat fibromyalgia For example, graded physical activity at low levels under supervision of an interested physiotherapist and antidepressants, Karlsson said.

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“Patients with fibromyalgia have besides the pain problem a multitude of somatic symptoms and various impact on life socially, economically and so on,” he said. “It’s important to help these patient with all their somatic complaints and their problems in all aspects of life. A multi-professional team is of great value”

“I think physical activity aerobic exercise (walking) at low grades are of great help for all patients with chronic pain,” Karlsson said. “In our study we used a simple relaxation exercise.”


1. Lawrence RC, et al. Arthritis Rheum. 2015 doi: 10.1001/jama.2015.8361.

2. Karlsson B, et al. Scand J Pain. 2015 doi: 10.1016/j.sjpain.2015.04.027.