Association between initial opioid use and response to a brief interdisciplinary treatment program in fibromyalgia

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Background:To evaluate the association between opioid use and treatment outcome (symptom severity, quality of life [QOL]) after a brief interdisciplinary fibromyalgia treatment program (FTP).Method:Subjects (n = 971) with fibromyalgia participated in the FTP. They filled out the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) and the Short Form-36 Health Status Questionnaire (SF-36) at baseline and 6 to 12 months after the FTP. Post-treatment changes in FIQ and SF-36 scores were compared after stratifying the participants into opioid user and non-opioid user groups.Results:A total of 236 patients (24.3%) were opioid users. Compared with non-opioid users, the opioid users had worse symptom severity measured using FIQ total score (p < .001) and all subscales at baseline and post treatment, as well as worse QOL measured using all SF-36 subscales and physical and mental components. Comparison of least-square means of mean change of QOL between opioid users and non-opioid users after analysis of covariance adjusted patient characteristics and baseline scores showed that the FIQ subscale scores of physical impairment (p < .05), job ability (p < .05), and fatigue (p < .05) were significantly less improved in the opioid users compared with the non-opioid users. Moreover, the SF-36 subscale score of general health perception (p < .05) was significantly less improved in the opioid users compared with non-opioid users. However, post-treatment changes in mean scores for QOL subscale generally did not significantly differ in both groups.Conclusions:Opioid use did not affect response to the FTP, as measured using the FIQ total score or SF-36 physical and mental component summary scores. Furthermore, the opioid user group showed less improvement in the FIQ subscale scores of physical impairment, job ability, and fatigue and in the SF-36 subscale scores of general health perception.

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