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Alexithymia is associated with mood disorders, impairment in quality of life and disability in women with fibromyalgia


1, 2, 3, 4, 5

 

  1. Servicio de Reumatología, Hospital General Regional número 1, Delegación Yucatán, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Mérida, Yucatán, México. gabho@hotmail.com
  2. Servicio de Reumatología, Hospital General de México “Dr. Eduardo Liceaga”, Ciudad de México, Mexico.
  3. Servicio de Genética, Hospital General de México “Dr. Eduardo Liceaga”, Ciudad de México, and Facultad de Medicina Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
  4. Servicio de Psiquiatría, Hospital General Regional número 251, Delegación Estado de México, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Metepec, México.
  5. Centro de Investigación en Ciencias de la Salud, Campus Norte Huixquilucan, Universidad Anáhuac México, Ciudad de México, México.

CER12293
2020 Vol.38, N°1 ,Suppl.123
PI 0017, PF 0024
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PMID: 31603073 [PubMed]

Received: 02/04/2019
Accepted : 18/06/2019
In Press: 09/10/2019
Published: 21/02/2020

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:
Alexithymia is a personality trait related to the quality of life of women with fibromyalgia (FM). It is still unknown whether alexithymia is associated with the clinical manifestations of FM. The present study describes the relationship between alexithymia and the domains included in the core set recommended by the Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT) for FM evaluation.
METHODS:
One hundred two women with FM were enrolled in the cross-sectional study. The domains evaluated were alexithymia, pain, fatigue, health-related quality of life, sleep quality, depression, anxiety, and disability. Univariate and multivariate (Kernel Regularized Least Squares method) analyses were performed to assess the relationship between alexithymia and the domains included in the core set recommended by the OMERACT.
RESULTS:
Alexithymia prevalence was 64.5% (95% Confidence Interval [CI], 54.6%-73.9%) and higher in women with depression (76.1%; 95%CI, 63.8%-86%). Female patients with FM and alexithymia showed higher pain intensity, anxiety and depression levels, and disability perception and lower quality of life, as compared to those with FM without alexithymia. Size effect differences ranged from medium to large and all of them were statistically significant (p<0.05). Using multivariate analysis, alexithymia was significantly associated with worse perceptions of quality of life (except physical health domain) and more disability perception, independently of other variables. However, alexithymia was not significantly associated with pain intensity.
CONCLUSIONS:
Alexithymia plays an important role in clinical manifestations of FM, mainly in the psychological and social dimensions of quality of life and the degree of perceived disability.

Rheumatology Article