OBJECTIVE: To describe the development and test the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral intervention (CBT) for juvenile fibromyalgia.
METHOD: Sixty-seven children with fibromyalgia and their parents were recruited to participate in an 8-week intervention that included modules of pain management, psychoeducation, sleep hygiene, and activities of daily living. Children were taught techniques of cognitive restructuring, thought stopping, distraction, relaxation, and self-reward. Additionally, they kept daily pain and sleep diaries. Children completed questionnaires of pre- and post-treatment measuring physical status and psychological functioning.
RESULTS: Following CBT, children reported significant reductions (p < .006) in pain, somatic symptoms, anxiety, and fatigue, as well as improvements in sleep quality. Additionally, children reported improved functional ability and had fewer school absences.
CONCLUSION: Children with fibromyalgia can be taught CBT strategies that help them effectively manage this chronic and disabling musculoskeletal pain disorder.