Activity rhythms and clinical correlates in fibromyalgia

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Abstract

The primary aim of this study was to evaluate activity rhythms in fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) and their association with FMS-related symptoms. We hypothesized that stronger and more consistent activity rhythms would be associated with reduced symptom severity and presentation in FMS. Two hundred ninety-two patients with FMS (mean age = 45.1 ± 11.1; 272 women) provided a 7-day actigraphy recording and responses to questionnaires addressing degree of pain, fatigue, mood, and physical impairment. Using a simple cosine model, we extracted Amplitude (activity range), Phi (time at maximum), Mesor (mean activity), and their variabilities (across days) from each participant's actigraphy. The clinical and actigraphic measures were operationally independent. There was a significant canonical relationship between activity rhythm parameters and clinical FMS measures (r = 0.376, R2 = 0.14, P < 0.001). The set of Mesor, Amplitude, and Phi activity parameters remained associated with clinical measures when controlled statistically for both demographics and activity variability (P < 0.001). Each activity parameter provided unique discrimination of the clinical set by multivariate test (P = 0.003, 0.018, and 0.007 for Amplitude, Phi, and Mesor, respectively). These results revealed that better pain, fatigue, mood, physical impairment, and sleep outcomes were associated with higher activity range and more rhythmicity (Amplitude), increased mean activity (Mesor), and with earlier timing of peak activity (Phi). Exploratory analyses revealed significantly worse sleep for individuals with low Amplitude and more delayed Phi.

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