2/7/24 at 8:41 AM

Article Recommended by Dr. Josh Blum: Association of Therapies with Reduced Pain and Improved Quality of Life in Patients with Fibromyalgia: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

This review looked at 224 randomized controlled trials representing >30,000 patients with fibromyalgia comparing any therapy with a non-active control group between 2018 and 2020. Of 224 trials reviewed, 56 were rated as high risk of bias. The authors grouped the studies under the broad categories of exercise, antidepressants, and CNS depressants. According to a review of this study by Peter MacDougall PhD MD published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, there is a paucity of higher quality and adequately powered trials to drive management decisions. He writes, “At best, there is evidence for short-term improvement in pain and QoL with cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressants, respectively,” and perhaps some benefit with antidepressants and CNS depressants on pain and quality of life in the medium term (3-12 months). No studies provide evidence of benefit beyond the 12 month period. In summary, treating providers need to remain aware of the absence of good data for many of the typically prescribed medical and psychological therapies for this common chronic condition.