Correlation between disease severity and health-related quality of life among patients with fibromyalgia syndrome
Date of Award
Master of Medicine (MMed)
Dr. Fredrick Otieno
Dr. Jasmit Shah
Internal Medicine (East Africa)
Background: Fibromyalgia Syndrome is a rheumatic disorder characterized by chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory problems, and mood disturbances. Little is known about the characteristics of fibromyalgia patients in Kenya. Studies done elsewhere have shown that patients with fibromyalgia syndrome incur more healthcare costs, have a higher prevalence of comorbidities, have more workdays missed, have poor productivity, retire early, have impaired function, and lead a poorer quality of life.
Methods: This study was a prospective cross-sectional study that enrolled patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia syndrome attending the rheumatology clinic at the Aga Khan University Hospital Nairobi, Kenya. Those enrolled in the study were administered a Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire to assess health-related quality of life and a 36 – Item Short Form Health Survey questionnaire to assess the quality of life. Spearman Ranks correlation was used to establish the correlation between the disease severity and health-related quality of life.
Results: There were 59 participants recruited to the study who met the eligibility criteria. Of the 59 participants, 91.5% (54) were female. The median age of the patients recruited in the study was 41.0 years (IQR: 34.0, 50.0). The majority had mild disease severity (39%), followed by moderate disease (25.4%), severe disease (23.7%), and extreme disease (11.9%). The median Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire score among the study participants was 50 (moderate disease severity). There was a negative significant correlation between the Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire domains, the overall Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire score with all the SF-36 subscales (p<0.05).
Conclusion: The study demonstrated a negative correlation between fibromyalgia syndrome disease severity and quality of life. The impact was both in the physical and mental components of quality of life. This implies in managing patients with fibromyalgia syndrome, both physical and psychosocial and approaches should be adopted.
Koros, J. C. (2021). Correlation between disease severity and health-related quality of life among patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (Unpublished master's dissertation). Aga Khan University, East Africa.