Background: Fibromyalgia is characterised by chronic widespread pain. Quality of life is further reduced by autonomic and cognitive symptoms, including subjective brain-fog and dissociative experiences. Although an association with joint hypermobility suggests variant connective tissue is a factor in both fibromyalgia and dysautonomia, the mechanisms underlying the neuropsychiatric symptoms are poorly understood. Methods: 21 fibromyalgia patients and 21 healthy controls were assessed for joint hypermobility dissociative experiences, autonomic symptoms and interoceptive sensibility. Mediation analyses were conducted according to the method of Baron and Kenny. Results: Patients with fibromyalgia reported greater dissociative experiences and autonomic symptoms. The relationship between fibromyalgia and dissociative experiences was fully mediated by symptoms of orthostatic intolerance. Fibromyalgia, dissociative experiences and orthostatic intolerance all were associated with joint hypermobility and interoceptive sensibility. Conclusions: This exploratory investigation highlights the relationship between dissociative experiences in the context of fibromyalgia and subjective experience of aberrant physiological responses. These find...Continue Reading
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