A Daily Dose of Mindfulness for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia patients may benefit from higher mindfulness, according to a new cross-sectional analysis published in the June issue of Clinical Rheumatology.

“Previous studies suggest mindfulness is associated with pain and depression. However, its impact in individuals with fibromyalgia remains unclear,” the study authors wrote. “We examined associations between mindfulness and physical and psychological symptoms, pain interference, and quality of life in fibromyalgia patients.”

The researchers used baseline data from a clinical trial on fibromyalgia. The Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) was used to evaluate patients’ mindfulness, and regression models were used to evaluate associations between mindfulness and fibromyalgia impact, pain interference, physical function, depression, anxiety, stress, self-efficacy, health-related quality of life, and psychological outcomes.

The final analysis included 177 patients (age 52.0  ± 12.2 [standard deviation] years) who were mostly female (93.2%) and white (58.8%). The average body mass index was 30.1 ± 6.7 kg/m2. FFMQ and Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire scores were 131.3 ± 20.7 and 57.0 ± 19.4, respectively. The researchers observed a relationship between higher mindfulness and lower fibromyalgia impact (r = − 0.25), pain interference (r = − 0.31), stress (r = − 0.56), anxiety (r = − 0.58), depression (r = − 0.54), and better mental health-related quality of life (r = 0.57).

“Describing, Acting-with-awareness, and Non-judging facets of mindfulness were also associated with these outcomes,” the researchers wrote, adding, “Mindfulness moderated the effect of fibromyalgia impact on anxiety (interaction P = 0.01).”

The study authors wrote in their conclusion, “Mindfulness moderates the influence of fibromyalgia impact on anxiety, suggesting mindfulness may alter how patients cope with fibromyalgia. Future studies should assess how mind-body therapies aiming to cultivate mindfulness may impact the well-being of patients with fibromyalgia.”