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Suso-Marti L, Cuenca-Martinez F, Alba-Quesada P, et al. Effectiveness of Pain Neuroscience Education in Patients with Fibromyalgia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Pain Med. 2022 May 19. pii: 6588716. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnac077. (Systematic review)
Abstract

PURPOSE: To assess the effects of pain neuroscience education (PNE) on patients with fibromyalgia (FM) in terms of pain intensity, fibromyalgia impact, anxiety, and pain catastrophizing.

METHODS: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials was conducted. Standardized mean differences (SMDs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated with RStudio software for relevant outcomes and were pooled in a meta-analysis using the random effects model.

RESULTS: A total of 8 studies were included. The meta-analysis showed statistically significant differences in the pain intensity with a moderate clinical effect in 7 studies in the post-intervention assessment (SMD:-0.76; 95% CI:-1.33- -0.19; p < 0.05) with evidence of significant heterogeneity (p < 0.05, I2=92%) but not in fibromyalgia impact, anxiety, and pain catastrophizing (p > 0.05). Regarding the follow-up assessment, only the fibromyalgia impact showed significant improvements with a very small clinical effect in 9 studies (SMD:-0.44; 95% CI:-0.73- -0.14; p < 0.05) with evidence of significant heterogeneity (p < 0.05, I2 = 80%). Applying a sensitivity analysis with the PNE face-to-face interventions, the meta-analysis showed a significant decrease of pain intensity with a moderate clinical effect at post-intervention and follow-up without evidence of significant heterogeneity (p < 0.05, I2=10%).

CONCLUSIONS: There is low quality evidence that in patients with FM, PNE can decrease the pain intensity post-intervention and also the fibromyalgia impact in the follow-up. However, it appears that PNE showed no effect on anxiety and pain catastrophizing.

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