OBJECTIVE: To compare health-related quality of life in 2 different populations with chronic pain: patients with fibromyalgia and patients with refractory angina pectoris. Previous separate studies have indicated that these patient groups report different impacts of pain on health-related quality of life.
METHODS: The Short-Form 36 was used to assess health- related quality of life. In order to adjust for age and gender differences between the groups, both patient groups were compared with age- and gender-matched normative controls. The difference in health-related quality of life between the 2 patient groups was assessed by transforming the Short-Form 36 subscale scores to a z-score.
RESULTS: The patients with fibromyalgia (n = 203) reported poorer health-related quality of life in all the subscale scores of Short-Form 36 (p < 0.05-0.0001) than the patients with refractory angina (n = 146) when both groups were compared with their corresponding normal population (z-score).
CONCLUSION: Patients with fibromyalgia experience greater impairment in health-related quality of life compared with the normal population than do patients with refractory angina pectoris, despite the fact that the latter have a potentially life-threatening disease. The great impairment in health- related quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia should be taken into consideration when planning rehabilitation.
2014. Vol. 46, no 4, 341-7 p.