Researchers have identified 4 categories for fibromyalgia, which could lead to individualized patient therapy based on presence and severity of symptoms. The findings were presented at the 30th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.

Ann Vincent, MBBS, MD, from the Mayo Fibromyalgia Clinic in Rochester, MN, and colleagues used the Outcome Measures in Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinical Trials (OMERACT) initiative recommended core symptom domains. Female patients (n=581) with similar symptom profiles and a mean age of 55.1 were then grouped together based on the recommended symptom domains. Several OMERACT outcome measures were completed by the patients and 4 clusters were evident based on symptoms and pain severity.

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Cluster 1 patients had the lowest average levels of all symptoms, with Cluster 5 patients reporting the highest levels. Cluster 2 patients had more pain, stiffness, dysfunction, sleep disturbances, and fatigue but less depression, anxiety, and dyscognition (“fibro fog”) compared to Cluster 3.

Additional research is needed to validate the findings, but it could allow targeted and tailored treatments to address specificity and severity of symptoms. Non-pharmacologic treatments may be considered for Cluster 1 patients whereas Cluster 4 patients may be triaged to intensive pain rehabilitation since usual outpatient treatment is frequently inadequate in this population.

For more information visit the American Academy of Pain Medicine website.