Physiotherapy management of fibromyalgia syndrome: a survey of practice in Northern Ireland

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McVeigh, Joseph G.
Baxter, G. D.
Archer, Susan
Hurley, Deirdre
Basford, Jeffrey R.
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MA Healthcare
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The aim of this study was to identify the physiotherapeutic management of patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) in Northern Ireland. A postal questionnaire was distributed to physiotherapists working in outpatient settings in this region (n = 106). A response rate of 71% (n = 75) was achieved. Patients with FMS featured in the caseloads of all respondents. The most important reported goal of treatment was to ‘increase daily function’ (n = 24; 32%). Exercise (n = 44; 58.7%) and hydrotherapy (n = 12; 16.0%) were the most common treatment approaches. A total of 45.3% (n = 34) of respondents stated that they did not believe they could adequately assess patients with FMS and 41.3% (n = 31) reported that they had no training in the management of FMS. Private practitioners were significantly (P = 0.05) more likely to believe that physiotherapy was beneficial for patients with FMS than their NHS counterparts. In conclusion, physiotherapy treatments for patients with FMS in Northern Ireland are consistent with current evidence. However, practice varies and physiotherapists are uncomfortable with their level of training in FMS
Fibromyalgia , Rehabilitation , Case Management , Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) , Physiotheraphy
McVeigh, J.G., Baxter, G., Archer, S., Hurley, D. and Basford, J.R. (2004) ‘Physiotherapy management of Fibromyalgia Syndrome: a survey of practice in Northern Ireland’, International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 11(2), pp. 71–78. Available at:
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