Which psychological variables are implicated in the etiology of fibromyalgia?

Updated: Apr 23, 2020
  • Author: Chad S Boomershine, MD, PhD, CPI, CPT; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Although not significant in all patients with fibromyalgia, cognitive-behavioral variables can be pivotal in the development and maintenance of persistent pain and functional disability. [35] The repertoire of operant cognitive-behavioral variables in adults have antecedents in earlier life (eg, childhood abuse, parental alcoholism, learned behaviors from living as children with dysfunctional or chronically ill parents).

By early adulthood, a failure in goal-oriented behavior may develop, leading to lower self-efficacy, the inability to achieve goals, and a fear of failure. In turn, this may presage reporting of chronic pain as a socially acceptable excuse for failure to achieve goals in later life.

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