Fibromyalgia: Management Strategies for Primary Care Providers

L. M. Arnold; K. B. Gebke; E. H. S. Choy


Int J Clin Pract. 2016;70(2):99-112. 

In This Article


The management pathway for FM and chronic pain is currently often lengthy and complex, involving repeated clinic visits, unnecessary referrals and costly tests. The medical home, a patient-centred management framework which has been successfully implemented in other chronic diseases, might provide the key to reducing diagnosis time and improving patient outcomes. The PCMH sets up a health delivery model within the practice via the provision of a primary care team incorporating professionals with a range of skills and training, all functioning at the highest level for maximum efficiency and working together for the benefit of the patient. A multifaceted approach to treatment, including patient education and non-pharmacological and pharmacological therapies, is a key, but prioritising symptoms, tracking progress and managing patient expectations are equally important. Effective approaches to helping practices adopt the medical home and tailor it to the needs of the patient with chronic pain will be important. Although there remain several barriers to overcome, implementation of a PCMH for chronic pain would allow FM to be successfully managed in the primary care setting.