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22 November 2011
CBT effective for adolescents with juvenile fibromyalgia

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) reduces functional disability and depressive symptoms in adolescents with juvenile fibromyalgia, according to the findings of a clinical trial published in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Study leader, Susmita Kashikar-Zuck, from Cincinnati Children's Hospital, said the CBT psychological intervention was safe, effective and proved to be superior to disease management education.

Juvenile fibromyalgia syndrome affects between 2 and 7 percent of school age children and primarily strikes adolescent girls. Both adult and juvenile fibromyalgia patients experience widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, as well as sleep and mood disturbances. Until now, studies investing treatment for the juvenile form of the disorder are limited.

In the trial, participants were randomized to cognitive-behavioral therapy or fibromyalgia education, receiving eight weekly individual therapy sessions and two additional sessions in the six months following the end of active therapy.

While both patient groups displayed significant reduction in functional disability, pain, and depressive symptoms, the cognitive-behavioral therapy group reported a significantly greater reduction in functional disability.

The therapy group had a 37 percent improvement in disability compared to 12 percent in the education group.

"Our trial confirms that cognitive-behavioral therapy is a safe and effective treatment for reducing functional disability and depression in patients with juvenile fibromyalgia," concluded Dr. Kashikar-Zuck. "When added to standard medical care, cognitive-behavioral therapy helps to improve daily functioning and overall wellbeing for adolescents with fibromyalgia."

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Source: Arthritis & Rheumatism


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