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Fibromyalgia as a Variant of High-performing PTSD: Negative affect, Emotional integrity counter play and functional impairment.

Journal article
Authors Kerstin Wentz
Trevor Archer
Published in Journal of Neuropsychology & Stress Management
Volume 2
Pages 1-9
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Department of Psychology
Pages 1-9
Language en
Subject categories Psychology


Objective: The aim of the present analysis was to examine psychological functioning and functional impairment in fibromyalgia (FM) based on three dimensions of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), positive and negative affect adjective scales (PANAS), Health related quality of life (SF-36) scales concerning pain, vitality and impairment from emotional and physical and causes together with the Work Ability Index (WAI) and to compare the results to healthy women. Materials and method: Twenty-two women presenting FM and twenty-six healthy women were education-and age-matched. All the women completed questionnaires regarding background, Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) and health related quality of life (SF-36), Negative and Positive Affect Scale (PANAS) and the single item Work ability index (WAI). Result: In comparison to healthy women, women presenting FM showed higher IES-R values of intrusion, avoidance and hypertension and lower values regarding PA and higher values regarding NA. Role emotional (RE), role physical (RP) and vitality (VT) showed lower values respectively and bodily pain (BP) showed more pain during 4 weeks in women presenting FM and WAI showed a higher value in healthy women (all these p values p ≤ 0.001). Intrusion, avoidance and hypertension correlated but were inversely related to health relates quality of life in terms of RE in FM. Only intrusion and hypertension were associated with NA while avoidance showed a positive association to WAI in FM where also the PA and the NA values were correlated unlike in healthy women. BP was related to VT but unrelated to all other measurements in FM. Conclusion: The absence of links between BP and the other measurements may imply a somewhat non psychological nature of clinical FM pain. Lower PA values and higher NA values added by high levels of PTSD like symptomatology induces severe psychological strain in FM. Avoidance relates positively to WAI but negatively to RE which suggests a pattern of alarming emergency functioning. The result and other research on relentless activity in FM may term FM a variant of high performance PTSD. An investment in areas of psychological resources that need to be filled in in FM may open up for a more resourceful physiological regulation of pain and global self-regulation of e.g. RE, RP.

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