Development and Evaluation of a Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention for Juvenile Fibromyalgia

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Abstract

Objective

To describe the development and test the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral intervention (CBT) for juvenile fibromyalgia.

Method

Sixty-seven children with fibromyalgia and their parents were recruited to participate in an 8-week intervention that included modules of pain management, psychoeducation, sleep hygiene, and activities of daily living. Children were taught techniques of cognitive restructuring, thought stopping, distraction, relaxation, and self-reward. Additionally, they kept daily pain and sleep dairies. Children completed questionnaires of pre- and post-treatment measuring physical status and psychological functioning.

Results

Following CBT, children reported significant reductions (p < .006) in pain, somatic symptoms, anxiety, and fatigue, as well as improvements in sleep quality. Additionally, children reported improved functional ability and had fewer school absences.

Conclusion

Children with fibromyalgia can be taught CBT strategies that help them effectively manage this chronic and disabling musculoskeletal pain disorder.

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