Clinical Impact of Confinement Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic on Patients With Fibromyalgia: A Cohort Study

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Objective. To our knowledge, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on fibromyalgia (FM) patients has not been studied before. FM patients often experience clinical impairment with stress. The aim of this study was to determine whether severity of FM increases because of confinement by the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods. This prospective study includes patients from the Combined Index of Severity of Fibromyalgia (ICAF) cohort who met the 2010 ACR FM criteria. In this cohort, all patients have a periodical evaluation of their quality of life through two questionnaires, the ICAF, which assesses the ability to perform daily living activities, anxiety and depression, and through the Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC), which assesses overall change after a therapeutical intervention. Pre- and post-confinement measurements were analysed. Inferential statistical analysis and ANOVA for repeated measurements were used. Results. A total of 93 patients received a phone consultation, (95.5% females), mean (SD) age of 48.23 (8.38) years. Four patients were excluded as presenting COVID-19 and 51 (57%) completed the post-confinement ICAF. Following confinement, 25 (49%) patients got worse (group-worse) and 26 (51%) patients experienced no change or improved (group-stable). Comparisons between pre- and post-confinement ICAF did not show significant differences in both groups. Passive coping was significantly different in group-worse in pre-confinement evaluation. In the 80% of patients with passive coping predominance there were no changes in coping strategy. Conclusion. No clinical impairment due to COVID-19 confinement occurred. The perceived worsening among FM patients relies primarily on how patients cope with their disease, without a real impact on clinical manifestations.

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