Association of abuse history with symptom severity and quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia

Juan Jiao, Ann Vincent, Stephen S. Cha, Connie A. Luedtke, Terry H. Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A high prevalence of abuse has been reported in patients with fibromyalgia. We aimed to examine the association between self-reported abuse history and symptom severity and quality of life (QOL) in 962 patients with fibromyalgia. All patients completed the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) and the Short Form 36 health survey (SF-36). Multivariate regression analyses were performed. In total, 289 patients (30 %) reported a history of abuse. Of those who specified abuse types, 161 patients (59 %) reported more than 1 type of abuse (36 % emotional, 32 % physical, 25 % sexual, and 7 % verbal). Patients in the abuse group were younger and more likely to be female, unemployed, unmarried, and current smokers compared with patients who reported no abuse. After adjusting for these differences, abuse history was associated with worse symptoms, as indicated by a higher FIQ total score (P < .001) and higher FIQ subscale scores in physical function (P = .001), work missed (P < .001), job ability (P < .001), pain (P = .02), depression (P < .001), and anxiety (P < .001). Similarly, abuse history was associated with worse QOL, with lower SF-36 scores in all domains except the physical component summary. In conclusion, abuse history in patients with fibromyalgia was associated with worse symptoms and QOL compared with those patients without abuse history. Future studies are needed to assess whether additional tailored interventions as part of fibromyalgia treatment are helpful for patients with a history of abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-553
Number of pages7
JournalRheumatology International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2015


  • Emotional abuse
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Verbal abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology


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