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Current Rheumatology Reviews


ISSN (Print): 1573-3971
ISSN (Online): 1875-6360

Review Article

Work Ability in Fibromyalgia: An Update in the 21st Century

Author(s): Annie Palstam* and Kaisa Mannerkorpi

Volume 13 , Issue 3 , 2017

Page: [180 - 187] Pages: 8

DOI: 10.2174/1573397113666170502152955


Background: Fibromyalgia (FM) is characterized by persistent widespread pain, increased pain sensitivity and tenderness. People with FM also report activity limitations and impaired work ability.

Objective: This article aims to compile the findings of recently published research on work ability in people with fibromyalgia, and to present how work ability is influenced by various aspects.

Methods: A systematic search of the literature published from the year 2000 and onwards was conducted. Thirtyfour articles were included in the review.

Result: Symptom severity was found to influence work ability in people with FM. Physically demanding jobs and work tasks were especially troublesome and were reported to constitute higher risks pof work disability. Working people with FM seemed to hold a careful balancing act to manage the risk of overload where well-functioning strategies such as making a career change, working part-time, and developing personal skills were necessary for managing work, in the short- and long term. The support of management and colleagues enabled people with FM to manage the risk of overload at work. Treatment studies evaluating work disability as outcome in FM are scarce. None of the included studies presented any effects on measures of sick-leave or work disability compared with a control group.

Conclusion: More studies of treatment effects on outcomes related to work ability in people with FM, and more longitudinal studies to explore long-term effects of symptoms on work ability and sick leave, are needed in order to be able to plan evidence based rehabilitation to improve or maintain work ability in people with FM.

Keywords: Work, pain, disability, fibromyalgia, longitudinal studies, rehabilitation.

Graphical Abstract

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