The fibromyalgia syndromeBMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6991.1406b (Published 27 May 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1406
All rapid responses
In the letter from Geoff Littlejohn, he counters the article by
Michael Doherty and Adrian Jones as "unnecessarily pessimistic picture of
the outcome in (FMS)patients." Although Messrs. Doherty and Jones base
their statements on a British hospital population, my continual research
and living with FMS fully supports the rather poor prognosis, particularly
in not being able to cope with a job or (physical) household activities.
While I agree with Dr. Littlejohn that a "busy, practical and focused
outpatient care...may not be suitable for fibromyalgia" and that "most
people with (FMS) do not attend hospital clinics but are seen in the
primary care sector", he does not indicate what he would use as
"appropriate intervention" for "considerable improvement" of his
observations of Australian patients, except "the adoption of a positive
approach to outcome".
Frankly, regardless of positive attitudes and acceptance of living
with FMS, other medical research as well as several hundred FMS patients
with whom I am in regular contact have shown FMS alone, with its multiple
symptomatic effects, means not only a chronic disabling condition, but
moreover, makes keeping a regular job or even going food shopping nigh
impossible, nevermind other activities.
We FM-ers constantly encounter far too many medical practitioners who
profess that a positive attitude makes sufficient "appropriate"
contributions for a "good outcome with minimal intervention". Yes, a
positive attitude is always good for all of us, but when faced with
constant, too often throbbing pains all over, fatigue, memory-loss,
depression, loss of all the activities we once were able to do, inability
to work on a regular basis, the endless medications, family and friends
who still think we're "faking it", keeping positive is at the end of a
long list of things we need to do, and too often on the list of things
we'd like to do.
Perhaps Dr. Littlejohn should walk a mile in our shoes.
Wanda Joy Hoe
Competing interests: No competing interests