Direct medical costs in patients with fibromyalgia: Cost of illness and impact of a brief multidisciplinary treatment program

Jeffrey M. Thompson, Connie A. Luedtke, Terry H. Oh, Nilay D. Shah, Kirsten Hall Long, Susan King, Megan Branda, Randy Swanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare the direct medical costs of clinically diagnosed patients with fibromyalgia with the medical costs of matched controls during a 4-yr period and to assess the impact of a fibromyalgia treatment program on healthcare utilization and associated medical costs. Design: A retrospective comparison of economic outcomes in 87 patients who participated in a fibromyalgia treatment program between 2001 and 2004 and who were local residents for the entire 4-yr period spanning their participation in the program, with age and sex-matched controls. Costs for the 2 yrs before and 2 yrs after program participation were also compared. Results: Four-year medical costs for controls were $7774 compared with $15,759 for those with fibromyalgia. There was no significant change in direct costs after participation in a brief fibromyalgia treatment program. Those with increased symptom severity averaged $2034 higher direct medical costs during the 4-yr period. Conclusions: Patients with clinically diagnosed fibromyalgia incur direct medical costs about twice that of their matched controls. This increased cost is related to the severity of their symptoms as measured by the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire and was not impacted by participation in a brief cognitive behaviorally based fibromyalgia treatment program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-46
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011


  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cost of Illness
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Fibromyalgia Treatment Program

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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