New study finds that coaching health and wellness may improve symptoms of Fibromyalgia

A health and willingness coaching study conducted for over a year has revealed that Fibromyalgia patients can benefit by combining their medication with health and wellness programs.

Published in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders titled A Pilot Study Of Health And Wellness Coaching For Fibromyalgia, the study has shown the effectiveness of heal and wellness coaching(HWC). According to the authors, the study employedHealth professionals who were capable of coaching tasks, knowledge,skills and competencies. Thecoaching competencies werebased on evidence-based theories of behavior change, self-determination, self-efficacy, self-regulation, positive psychology, and motivational interviewing.

Data collected from 9 willing patients between 18 to 65 with fibromyalgia who weren’t taking any medication other than fibromyalgia were used in this study.Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQR), which is used to measure work status, physical functioning, depression, sleep, anxiety, pain, stiffness, fatigue, and well-being, and Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form (BPI), which is used to measure painintensity and interference with function, was performedat the beginning for all the 9 patients. FIQR and BPI was again performed after 6 and 12 months ie after HWC.

In the HWC study, Patients first had phone call session with a coach at first at their preferred time and frequency.Then they participated in group classes on self-coaching strategies for improving their well-being and quality of life ie healthy eating, sleep, relaxation, exercise, self-compassion, and mindfulness activities bimonthly for the first six months and monthly for the last six months.

After completion of HWC, the patient’s quality of life was improved by 35 per cent. Also, overall pain was improved by 35 per cent, pain severity by 31 per cent and pain interference by 44 per cent.Additionally, Healthcare utilization declined by 86 per cent and RA-related encounter by 78 per cent.

According to Dr. Marcus Yu Bin Pai, “Although the study sounds conclusive, further studies of larger scale are necessary to improve the quality of life of people in our society”.

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