Healio: Pain more severe for juvenile fibromyalgia vs. other pediatric rheumatic diseases
By Jason Laday
Juvenile primary fibromyalgia is unique among pediatric rheumatic diseases regarding pain and disability ratings, with pain significantly higher in these patients than those with other childhood rheumatic conditions, according to data published in Pediatric Rheumatology.
“Although we already have evidence that pain can be significantly impairing for children and adolescents who have chronic pain as the primary disorder — as is the case in juvenile fibromyalgia — we know comparatively little in most cases about the extent to which pain is even being reported or associated with difficulties in functioning for youth with other pediatric rheumatic diseases,” Mark Connelly, PhD, of Children’s Mercy Kansas City, told Healio Rheumatology.
“We thought that conducting this study could help identify conditions that may benefit from further pain monitoring and mitigation measures.”
“On average, individuals with juvenile fibromyalgia report high levels of pain and functional disability, levels that exceed those reported in other diseases managed in pediatric rheumatology,” Connelly said. “This further reinforces how difficult this condition can be to live with for children and adolescents that are diagnosed with it.”
“Treatments for pediatric rheumatic disease have come a long way in recent years and in many cases are excellent for reducing disease activity, but we know that reduced disease activity does not necessarily correspond with reduced pain,” Connelly said. “One of the main findings of this study suggest that to the extent that pain is not being specifically targeted as an important treatment outcome in pediatric rheumatic disease, quality of life and functioning may be difficult to appreciably improve.”
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