Severity of Fibromyalgia

There is little information regarding assessment of severity of FMS. The diagnosis or classification of FMS gives no information whatsoever in regard to the extent of the condition. Many people have low-grade FMS and do not seek out healthcare professionals. Others have severe FMS with significant pain, fatigue, and disability. Each of the components of FMS, particularly the pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and emotional distress, may be rated using instruments just described. Higher ratings probably correlate with higher degrees of impact of the condition on an individual's life. Studies on these issues are required.

A Fibromyalgia Activity Score can be constructed using assessments of various clinical features that occur in patients with FMS. Those felt to reflect "activity" of the peripheral pain system and related reflex changes are given highest weights in this score. This score thus attempts to provide a semiquantitative measure of the objective clinical features of FMS, with higher weights given to signs and lower weight given to symptoms. 46. Such an activity score has been shown to change over time, and variations of this approach may prove useful in quantitating the objective neurophysiologic features of FMS (Figure 1). The Response criteria (RC) have been suggested to be useful preliminary criteria to measure response to treatment intervention for FMS. 92 A combination of the variables, physician global assessment score, patient sleep score, and tender point score appear to be the most discriminatory.

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Patient's Pain Communication Tool