The Journal of Rheumatology, July 2011 issue, published a comprehensive study that examined symptoms in 1,155 Fibromyalgia (FM) patients (i.e. their severity and overall change or stability) on a semi-annual basis for up to 11 years. Initially all patients satisfied the American College of Rheumatology preliminary 2010 FM criteria modified for survey research.
The study revealed, amongst other things, that variability of symptoms caused 44% of patients to fail to meet FM criteria at least once over the study period.
The researchers found that about 10% of patients had substantial improvement and about 15% had moderate improvement of pain over the study period.
Overall, FM severity worsened in 35.9% and pain in 38.6%. This study could help physicians and patients to develop more realistic expectations about the course of FM.