Neuromuscular exercises combined with CBT improves pain in juvenile fibromyalgia
The Fibromyalgia Integrative Training for Teens (FIT Teens), which combines cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and a specialized neuromuscular exercise training, effectively reduces pain in adolescents with juvenile fibromyalgia (JFM), a recent study has shown.
Forty JFM patients (mean age 15.38±1.531 years; 90 percent female) were randomly assigned to receive either a CBT-only intervention or the FIT Teens programme (n=20 each). Interventions were delivered in group-based sessions over an 8-week period. Assessments of pain intensity and functional disability were conducted at baseline, post-treatment and at 3-month follow-up.
After controlling for baseline values, pain was significantly reduced in the FIT Teens group than in the CBT-only group at 3-month follow-up (Cohen’s d, 0.77; p=0.011). In comparison, functionality seemed to be worse in the FIT Teens group at 3 months, though statistical significance was not reached (Cohen’s d, 0.63; p=0.055).
However, those who underwent the FIT Teens programme showed significant improvements in functional disability from baseline to the 3-month follow-up (24.45±8.29 to 22.68±9.01; p<0.05).
In terms of secondary outcomes, those in the FIT Teens vs CBT-only group showed greater improvements in depressive symptoms (d, 0.49), pain catastrophizing (d, 0.73) and fear of movement (d, 0.65), though the between-group differences were not significant.
“Results of this preliminary randomized trial of the FIT Teens intervention are promising and indicate that combining CBT with neuromuscular exercise may be synergistic and offer a more powerful approach to the treatment of pain and disability in adolescents with JFM,” said researchers.