Somatization in Fibromyalgia

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There is an article on relationship between fibromyalgia and somatization disorder that utilized the “Patient Health Questionnaire” as a tool to assess somatic symptom severity. “PHQ-15 scores of 5, 10, and 15 represent low, medium, and high somatic symptom severity cut-points.” A somatization syndrome is considered likely if the PHQ-15 score is ≥10. The study found that 88.9% of the fibromyalgia patients in the study had a PHQ-15 score of ≥10 as compared to only 9.3% in the general population. (See: Symptoms, the nature of fibromyalgia, and diagnostic and statistical manual 5 (DSM-5) defined mental illness in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. Wolfe F, Walitt BT, Katz RS, Häuser W. PLoS One. 2014 Feb 14;9(2):e88740, 2014, available in full online at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3925165/.)

[Author's Comment: A high score of numbers of symptoms does nor prove that the patient is somatizing. It is important to realize that fibromyalgia is part of central sensitization syndrome and that severe cases of fibromyalgia may have numerous co-morbidities all in the same patient. The ACR-2010 had a long checklist of bodily symptoms and a high score was used as part of the diagnosis. This long list was dropped by the ACR-2016.]

For a link to an electronic version of the PHQ-15 see: https://qxmd.com/calculate/calculator_460/patient-health-questionnaire-15-phq-15#