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Can an Internet-delivered psychological intervention improve wellbeing in patients with fibromyalgia?

Guadalupe Molinari, Carlos Suso-Ribera, Mónica Navarro Sánchez, Diana Castilla, Rosa María Baños, Cristina Botella and Azucena García-Palacios, CIBEROBN, Universitat Jaume I, Universitat de València
Project selected in the Call for experimental research projects in the social sciences 2019

Information and communication technologies (ICT) can help reduce access barriers to psychological care for patients with diseases that involve chronic pain. Our results suggest that an Internet-delivered psychological intervention has the potential to improve mood, increase activity levels and reduce the interference of pain in a significant percentage of people who suffer from fibromyalgia.
Key points
  • 1
       Some 39% of patients with fibromyalgia reported a moderate improvement in their mood while 29% reported a slight improvement after receiving the psychological intervention via their mobile phones.
  • 2
       Some 4% of patients reported a great improvement in their involvement in daily activities, while 15% indicated a moderate improvement and 30%, a slight improvement.
  • 3
       The interference of pain in social relations was reduced slightly for 39% of patients, while it was re-duced moderately for 11%.
  • 4
       Although 26% and 24% of patients respectively achieved a moderate and a slight improvement with re-gard to levels of physical pain, 29% reported a moderate deterioration and 12%, a slight deterioration.
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Each of the female patients was assessed twice per day through a questionnaire that they received on their mobile telephones. This enabled us to know their levels of pain, mood, level of activity and the interference of pain in their daily functioning. Based on this assessment patients received information every day on a psycho-logical exercise that they could practice at home whenever they needed it. This study provides novel evidence that shows preliminary results on the efficacy of an Internet-delivered psychological intervention to promote self-care in patients with chronic pain.

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