Compassion Therapy Combined with Standard Treatment Seems to Help Fibromyalgia Symptoms, Study Suggests

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attachment-based compassion therapy

Attachment-based compassion therapy (ABCT) combined with regular fibromyalgia management treatment seems more effective in reducing symptoms than relaxation techniques and usual treatment, according to a small clinical trial.

The discovery was made by the Spain-based Primary Care Prevention and Health Promotion Research Network (redIAPP).

The study, “Efficacy of ‘Attachment-Based Compassion Therapy’ in the Treatment of Fibromyalgia: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry.

Due to the complex nature of fibromyalgia, successful treatment normally requires addressing the disease-related behavioral, cognitive, and affective processes, including pain, anxiety and depression.

ABCT is based on the attachment theory. It involves mindfulness training and exercising compassion by the practice of receiving and offering compassion to friends, “problematic” people, unknown people, and oneself.

“Several intervention protocols based on compassion have been described and used to treat psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression, with promising benefits. However, to date, such approaches have not been used to treat [fibromyalgia],” scientists said.

Researchers assessed the efficacy of attachment-based compassion therapy on the general function of fibromyalgia patients. As a secondary aim, they also evaluated the effect of this non-pharmacological therapy on the psychological (pain, depression, anxiety) features of the disease.

The study (NCT02454244) included 42 fibromyalgia patients ages 18-65 who were randomly allocated to receive either the compassion therapy or relaxation techniques — breathing and mental exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and imagery — during eight weekly two-hour sessions followed by three monthly reminder sessions.

Both groups combined ABCT or relaxation techniques with regular (depending on the patients’ complaints) fibromyalgia pain and depression management therapies — what the team called treatment as usual, or TAU.

Researchers found that attachment-based compassion therapy plus TAU led to better outcomes in terms of general health status, as measured by the FIQ (Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire), compared to patients who received TAU and relaxation therapies. The improvement in symptoms was found to be still significant after three months.

Regarding the disease-associated psychological features, researchers also saw improvements in clinical severity, anxiety, depression, and quality of life. Still, patients continued to have extremely negative thoughts about pain (called pain catastrophizing).

“In general, the [effect sizes] obtained in the present study were larger than those achieved when treating [fibromyalgia] using  [cognitive-behavioral therapy] or mindfulness alone,” researchers concluded.

The post Compassion Therapy Combined with Standard Treatment Seems to Help Fibromyalgia Symptoms, Study Suggests appeared first on Fibromyalgia News Today.

Catarina Silva

Compassion Therapy Combined with Standard Treatment Seems to Help Fibromyalgia Symptoms, Study Suggests

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Bonjour, je n'ai même pas encore 40 ans, je suis fibromyalgique, j'ai un petit garçon de 2 ans, et je vis dans cette souffrance, mais dû a ma personnalité je ne peux pas rester sans rien faire, car ça me tue encore plus que la douleur. Je précise que j’écris le français que a 5 ou presque 6 ans maintenant et je parle et écris aussi d'autres langues, donc je fais des erreurs de orthographe et de grammaire. Le problème c'est que je ne peux presque plus marcher (béquilles et difficile), être assis durant plus de 15 à 30 minutes ça me tue le cul cul et le dos, même pour soulever mon petit qui pèse a peine 12 kg, mais on dirait un sac de ciment du type 50 kg. Lui changer la couche me fait trembler les jambes et on dirait qu'on me plante un couteau au fond du dos, même mes épaules et bras quand je soulève ces fesses me font mal, même quand je lui donne la soupe avec une petite cuiller mon bras se fatigue vite et les douleurs arrivent, L'autre jour on lui donnant la soupe j'ai appuyé mon bras sur le plateau de ça chaise et il a commencé à trembler violemment, que même mon petit de 2 ans a eu peur. Sur ma page j'assume l'identité de tous les fibromyalgiques du moins de ceux qui veulent me suivre sous le pseudonyme de "MafibromaVie" ou de "FiFi le clown", finalement nous sommes tous des Clows au yeux de trop de gens, d’État, de Pays, et de Communauté dans notre cas la UE! Je ne suis pas une personnalité et je ne recherche aucune reconnaissance publique. Je suis simplement une personne comme toutes les autres, comme vous qui souffrait peut être aussi de Fibromyalgie, et qui a ouvert une simple page privée ou j'ecris ma vie de fibromyalgique pour suivie médicale par mon médecin. Ben après avec le temps, l'histoire a changé beaucoup de monde a commencer a me suivre 50,100,1000 et maintenant plus de 3000. Je parlais plus de moi au début et maintenant plus de nous et pour vous, ainsi c'est crée une page de partage, aide, soutien, et de discussion pour tous les fibros.

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