The role of catastrophizing in the pain and depression of women with fibromyalgia syndrome

Arthritis and Rheumatism
A L HassettL H Sigal


Although 2 recent studies have found associations between catastrophizing and poor medical outcomes in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), neither assessed these findings in comparison with a similar group of patients with chronic pain. Our study examined the complex relationships between depression, catastrophizing, and the multidimensional aspects of pain in women with FMS and compared these relationships with those in women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Sixty-four FMS patients and 30 RA patients completed the Coping Strategies Questionnaire (CSQ), the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II), and the McGill Pain Questionnaire. Compared with subjects with RA, FMS subjects scored significantly higher on the catastrophizing subscale of the CSQ. FMS patients also earned higher scores on overall depression and on the cognitive subscale of the BDI-II. Furthermore, the relationship between catastrophizing and depression was significant in the FMS group only. Regression analyses revealed that in FMS, catastrophizing as a measure of coping predicted patients' perception of pain better than demographic variables such as age, duration of illness, and education. Cognitive factors, such as catastrophizing and depressive self-statem...Continue Reading


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