Importance: Fibromyalgia is a complex chronic pain condition for which effective nonpharmacological treatment interventions are lacking.
Objective: To explore the effects of an occupational therapy intervention for fibromyalgia on client-reported outcomes of pain interference, self-efficacy, mood, and function.
Design: Retrospective cohort study using a chart review method.
Setting: Outpatient clinic.
Participants: Twenty-one adults with fibromyalgia (M age = 54 yr).
Intervention: A 10-wk occupational therapy group intervention using a Lifestyle Redesign® (LRD) approach.
Outcomes and Measures: The Brief Pain Inventory, Pain Self-Efficacy Scale, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) or the Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire were administered at the first and last sessions of the program.
Results: Between 2015 and 2018, 37 clients entered the program, and 21 completed it. Changes in group averages exceeded the minimal clinically important difference for the BDI and the FIQ. Eighty-one percent of clients who completed the program had a clinically significant improvement on one or more of the outcome measures.
Conclusions and Relevance: The findings demonstrate the potential benefit of occupational therapy as a complementary approach to pharmacological treatment for people with fibromyalgia. Preliminary evidence suggests that a 10-wk occupational therapy group intervention using an LRD approach may reduce symptoms of depression and decrease the impact on daily function for people with fibromyalgia.
What This Article Adds: Occupational therapy should be considered as a nonpharmacological intervention for adults with fibromyalgia to improve psychological well-being and function.