Social Support and Subjective Health in Fibromyalgia: Self-Compassion as a Mediator

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Individuals with fibromyalgia report lower levels of health-related quality of life (HRQL) compared to other chronically ill populations and interpersonal factors (i.e., social support) may influence risk. What is less understood is how intrapersonal factors (i.e., self-compassion) may impact the social support-HRQL linkage. We examined the association between social support and HRQL in a sample of persons with fibromyalgia and tested the potential mediating role of self-compassion. Self-identified adults in the United States with fibromyalgia (N = 508) were recruited from state, regional, and national organizations and support groups and completed an online battery of self-report questionnaires including: Multidimensional Health Profile-Psychosocial Functioning Index, Short-Form 36 Health Survey, and Self-Compassion Scale-Short Form. Individuals with greater subjective social support reported higher levels of self-compassion and, in turn, higher mental HRQL. These findings provide greater information about psychosocial constructs and HRQL and extend our understanding of self-compassion among individuals living with fibromyalgia.