How effective are cognitive behavioural therapies (CBTs) for treating fibromyalgia?
Positive effects were only verifiable for face-to-face CBTs but not for internet-based and telephone-based CBT at end of treatment. Positive effects were only detected in the comparison of CBTs with treatment as usual and waiting list controls but not with other active treatments (eg, aerobic exercise) or with attention control (except negative mood) at end of treatment. Studies that included patients with anxiety and depressive disorders demonstrated only a reduction in negative mood but not of pain and disability at end of treatment.
Fibromyalgia is a clinically well-defined, chronic condition of unknown aetiology, characterised by chronic, widespread pain that often coexists with sleep disturbances, cognitive dysfunction and fatigue. Patients often report high disability levels and negative mood. CBTs focus on reducing key symptoms and improving daily functioning, mood and sense of personal control over pain.