Health Beliefs, Attitudes, and Health-Related Quality of Life in Persons with Fibromyalgia: Mediating Role of Treatment Adherence

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Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness characterized by pain and fatigue. Persons with fibromyalgia experience increased the risk for poor mental and physical health-related quality of life, which may be dependent on multiple factors, including health beliefs, such as confidence in physicians and the health-care system, and health behaviors, such as treatment adherence. Respondents with fibromyalgia (n = 409) were recruited nationally, via support organizations, and completed self-report measures: Multidimensional Health Profile – Health Functioning Index (MHP-H), Short-Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36v2), and Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) Measure of Patient Adherence – General Adherence Items. In mediation models, belief in the healthcare system and health-care personnel, and health efficacy exerted an indirect effect through treatment adherence on mental and physical quality of life. Adaptive health beliefs and attitudes were related to greater treatment adherence and, in turn, to a better quality of life. Maladaptive health beliefs and mistrusting attitudes about physician-level and systemic-level healthcare provision are negatively related to both treatment adherence and consequent physical and mental health-related quality of life in persons with fibromyalgia. Future randomized controlled trials are needed to determine if therapeutic strategies to alter health values might improve adherence and self-rated health.