Are psychological distress symptoms different in fibromyalgia patients compared to relatives with and without fibromyalgia? Academic Article uri icon


  • Investigating psychological distress symptoms in the context of fibromyalgia (FM) is important due to their role in pain perception, and in the development of pain related disability. Although The Symptom Check-List-90-Revised (SCL-90-R) (1) questionnaire was used to evaluate psychological distress symptoms in FM patients, it was not applied in a familial context in families of FM patients. Our aim was to identify possible differences between FM patients and their relatives with and without FM regarding psychological distress symptoms. The participants of the current investigation included 127 diagnosed female patients with FM, and 57 of their first degree relatives, 27 of whom had previously undiagnosed FM. Psychological distress was measured using The Symptom Check-List-90-Revised (SCL-90-R), a self report symptom inventory that addresses 9 distress dimensions reflecting various types of psychopathology. FM patients reported significantly higher severity in 6 of the 9 distress symptoms compared to relatives without FM: somatisation, obsessive-compulsive, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety and psychoticism. Similar results were observed among relatives with FM, compared to the healthy group, except for anxiety. No differences were observed between FM patients and relatives with FM in the report of psychological distress. FM patients and relatives with FM expressed similar symptoms of psychological distress compared to the healthy group.

publication date

  • September 1, 2009