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  Prof Ciara Hughes, Dr Catherine Hanratty  Monday, February 06, 2023  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Introduction. Fibromyalgia (FM) is a prevalent and disabling condition, affecting about approximately 2–-4% of the global adult population worldwide, with unclear pathophysiology and management strategies. Current clinical guidelines and empirical evidence emphasize education/self-management support, regular physical exercise, and psychotherapy. However, outcomes relevant to people with FM are generally unsatisfactory.

Chronic pain and fatigue in FM are influenced by a complex network of mutually interacting factors that include physical (dis)ability, psychological resilience and vulnerability, social factors, sleep quality, obesity, and disease activity. The importance of these distinct factors is assumed to differ between individual patients. The strength with which each factor influences pain and fatigue also differs between patients. An online cross sectional study is currently being conducted across Europe investigating these influencing factors for pain and fatigue for a wide range of rheumatic conditions.

The aims of this study are;

To describe factors (physical inactivity, obesity, sleep problems, inflammatory activity, psychological distress factors) which influence pain and fatigue in Fibromyalgia


1.     Systematic review of the current literature around factors which influence chronic pain and fatigue in fibromyalgia

  1. Data analysis of European survey data with a specific focus on fibromyalgia to describe factors which influence pain and fatigue in this population.
  2. Data analysis of European survey data with a specific focus on UK data across the range of rheumatic conditions.

4.     Use of above data above to inform the design of an intervention and test its feasibility in clinical practice

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