Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fibromyalgia and the influence of weather on symptoms

E. Bossema presented a study on the influence of weather on daily pain and fatigue in 333 female patients with fibromyalgia. Weather conditions observed were air temperature, sunshine duration, rainfall, atmospheric pressure, and relative humidity. The study did not only look at the day but also on the consequences for the following day. The results showed that there are some patients more susceptible to weather than others, however some are influenced positively, others negatively. There were no hints at which characteristic of patients migh influence these. One idea of the authors is Kelley´s attribution theory, which might explain why many patients report aggravation of symptoms by the weather. “Kelley`s attribution theory:
* people are scientists: always looking for something to explain their behaviour.
* The underlying physiological mechanism of fibromyalgia is unknown.
* The weather is always there and it changes regularly, just like symptoms of fibromyalgia.
* Patients may attribute their symptoms to one of many possible causes, which varies all the time: the weather (´covariation principle´).”

E. Bossema1, H. van Middendorp2, J.W. Jacobs3, J.W. Bijlsma3, R. Geenen4. 1Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht; 2Department of Medical Psychology, University Medical Center St Radboud Nijmegen, Nijmegen; 3Department of Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology; 4Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
Conclusions: This study provides few indications for at best a small overall influence of weather conditions on daily pain and fatigue in female patients with fibromyalgia. Associations between weather and symptoms differ between patients, but it is unclear which patient characteristics play a role in this.

No comments:

Post a Comment