Biofeedback/relaxation training and exercise interventions for fibromyalgia: a prospective trial.

Publication Type
Journal Article
Year of Publication
Buckelew, S P; Conway, R; Parker, J; Deuser, W E; Read, J; Witty, T E; Hewett, J E; Minor, M; Johnson, J C; Van Male, L; McIntosh, M J; Nigh, M; Kay, D R
Arthritis Care Res
Date Published
1998 Jun
Activities of Daily Living; Adult; Biofeedback, Psychology; Combined Modality Therapy; Exercise Therapy; Female; Fibromyalgia; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Patient Education as Topic; Prospective Studies; Relaxation Therapy; Treatment Outcome

OBJECTIVE: To compare the effectiveness of biofeedback/relaxation, exercise, and a combined program for the treatment of fibromyalgia.

METHODS: Subjects (n = 119) were randomly assigned to one of 4 groups: 1) biofeedback/relaxation training, 2) exercise training, 3) a combination treatment, or 4) an educational/attention control program.

RESULTS: All 3 treatment groups produced improvements in self-efficacy for function relative to the control condition. In addition, all treatment groups were significantly different from the control group on tender point index scores, reflecting a modest deterioration by the attention control group rather than improvements by the treatment groups. The exercise and combination groups also resulted in modest improvements on a physical activity measure. The combination group best maintained benefits across the 2-year period.

CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that these 3 treatment interventions result in improved self-efficacy for physical function which was best maintained by the combination group.