Understanding Fibromyalgia
(1.35 Contact Hours)

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To successfully complete this course and receive your certificate, you must read the content online or in the downloadable PDF, pass the post test with a 70% or better, and complete the evaluation form July 10, 2021.

The price of this course is $15.00. You will only be asked to pay for the course if you decide to grade the post examination to earn a certificate with contact hours.

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Course Objectives

After completing this couse participants should be able to:

Case Study

Nicole, a 39-year-old female, has experienced persistent pain and fatigue throughout the day and night for over five months. The constant pain has caused her to not be able to function at work, resulting in anxiety and depression. The intensity of the pain varied, but was a contributing factor toward her anxiety. She was often more fatigued in the morning, and nothing seemed to help her rest comfortably at night.

In addition to her physical and mental discomfort, she has experienced a battery of exams to rule out other medical conditions, whose symptoms mimic fibromyalgia. Hematology studies, blood chemistries and thyroid studies were all within normal limits.

Ultimately, based on the symptoms of musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances and the presence of multiple tender points on her body, a diagnosis of fibromyalgia was determined. Based on the findings, a management plan included a prescription of tricyclic antidepressants to help promote sleep and control pain, a systematic exercise routine of walking and controlled stretching as well as a referral for physical therapy.

What Is Fibromyalgia?

Nicole is not alone in her frustration. Over six million Americans have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The American College of Rheumatology reports that as many as one in fifty Americans suffer from fibromyalgia. The disorder ranks second after osteoporosis as one of the most common complaints that are seen by rheumatologists.

Research has shown that clinicians often struggle to diagnose a patient with fibromyalgia; people with this disorder typically see several doctors before receiving the final diagnosis. Considerable studies have been conducted to identify the social impact, symptoms, causes and treatment options for this demoralizing condition (Harth et al., 2007).

Social Impact

To better understand the societal significance of fibromyalgia, let's first examine a few quick facts regarding the disorder:

The National Fibromyalgia Association adds that employers spend an additional $50 to $100 for every dollar spent on fibromyalgia claims. This excess money is spent on both direct and indirect expenses related to the disorder.

The economic burden caused by fibromyalgia is also in part because the annual cost for claimants was more than double the amount of the typical insurance beneficiary. Failure to properly diagnose fibromyalgia results in additional visits to other doctors and specialists, exasperating the expense to the patients and insurance companies.

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