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Cecilie von Bülow

The efficacy of an occupational therapy program, aiming at improving the ability to perform activities of daily living, among women with fibromyalgia

Background The ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL) among women with fibromyalgia is significantly decreased compared to healthy age-matched women, as well as persons with rheumatoid arthritis, heart failure and stroke. However, despite marked problems with functioning, there are no official intervention recommendations.

Objective The aim of this study is therefore to develop an occupational therapy intervention program for women with fibromyalgia and evaluate the effect on their ADL ability.

Methods In the first two studies, the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS) will be used to evaluate variations in ADL ability and identify and describe those ineffective ADL skills limiting ADL task performance the most. This information will be implemented in the third study, where women diagnosed with fibromyalgia, recruited from a specialized outpatient clinic, will be randomized to a 4 months therapy program consisting of either occupational therapy or physical therapy. Therapy will be offered as group interventions with approximately eight participants in each group. The occupational therapy intervention program includes sessions in a clinical setting. Primary outcome is observed ADL ability as measured by the AMPS, whereas secondary outcomes are PRO’s (the ADL-Questionnaire, FIQ and SF-36). Evaluations will be conducted immediately after intervention and again at six months follow-up. The fourth study is a qualitative study including three focus group interviews, with women who participated in the occupational therapy intervention program. The interviews will provide knowledge as to how the women experienced the occupational therapy intervention program, and if and how the program has influenced their ADL ability.


Cecilie von Bülow