Background Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic non-inflammatory syndrome characterized by diffuse pain throughout the body, sleep disorder, stiffness, fatigue, depression and other psychological problems. Patients with FM feel incapable of performing the majority of activities of daily living. Medication offers only short-term benefits. Thus, it is necessary to include other measures for treatment, such as physical activity and patient education. Art therapy combine the field of psychology with artistic activities, working with therapeutic and instructive aspects as well as the potential for personal growth contained in all forms of art.
Objectives The aim of the present study was to assess the effectiveness of an art therapy program for the treatment of pain and improvements in both quality of life and body image of patients with fibromyalgia.
Methods A randomized, controlled study with a blinded evaluator and 20-week follow-up period was carried out involving 80 patients with fibromyalgia. A visual analog scale (VAS) pain and sleep the six-minute walk test, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), Medical Outcome Survey Short Form 36 (SF-36), Beck Depression Inventory and Body Dysmorphic Disorder Examination (BDDE) questionnaire were used for the assessments, which were performed at baseline and after 10, 20 (end of intervention) and 40 weeks.
Results The art group achieved statistically significant improvements in VAS for pain (p=0.001), VAS for sleep (p=0.027), FIQ (p=0.001), Beck Depression Inventory (p=0.038) and the physical functioning (p=0.027), role-physical, (p<0.001), bodily pain (p=0.002), vitality (p=0.001), role-emotional (p=0.002) and mental health (p=0.010) subscales of the SF-36. Regarding body image no differences between groups was found over time.
Conclusions Art therapy can be used in the treatment of fibromyalgia, leading to a reduction in pain and improvements in degree of depression and quality of life.
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Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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