American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

Fibro: Fact or Fiction Quiz

Fibromyalgia is a common and complex chronic pain disorder. While it impacts 10 million Americans, new research from the American Osteopathic Association reveals that 30% of us have never heard of fibromyalgia or don’t consider it a disease. Take this short quiz to gauge your fibromyalgia expertise. 
  1. Almost all fibromyalgia patients experience the same symptoms.
    a. True
    b. False
     
  2. Fibromyalgia is limited to physical pain and is not associated with psychological issues like depression and anxiety.
    a. True
    b. False
     
  3. In most patients’ experiences, fibromyalgia does not affect their ability to sleep through the night.
    a. True
    b. False
     
  4. Most fibromyalgia patients find it challenging to work a standard 40-hour work week.
    a. True
    b. False
     
  5. Fibromyalgia affects more women than men.
    a. True
    b. False
     
  6. The onset of fibromyalgia typically occurs at age 50 or older.
    a. True
    b. False
     
  7. One common reason a fibromyalgia diagnosis may be overlooked is that patient blood tests are typically normal.
    a. True
    b. False
     
  8. The average length of time between symptom onset and a fibromyalgia diagnosis is one year.
    a. True
    b. False
  9.  
  10. Most people living with fibromyalgia reach their diagnosis after one visit to their physician.
    a. True
    b. False
     
  11. The majority of fibromyalgia patients are open to exploring new treatment plans.
    a. True
    b. False
     

Answer Key

  1. False: Fibromyalgia manifests differently among patients.ii

  2. False: In addition to the designated physical areas of pain, fibromyalgia patients are prone to psychological issues like anxiety and depression.iii

  3. False: Difficulty sleeping through the night is the most commonly reported activity affected by fibromyalgia, with 81% of patients citing it as a challenge.iv

  4. True: 55% of fibromyalgia patients find it challenging to hold a regular job.iv

  5. True: Approximately 80-90% of fibromyalgia patients are women.v

  6. False: In most people, fibromyalgia symptoms first begin in their 20s or 30s.i

  7. True: Regular medical testing, including a blood test, cannot diagnose fibromyalgia.i

  8. False: The average length of time between symptom onset and diagnosis is three years.iv

  9. False: On average, Americans suffering from fibromyalgia visit three doctors before finally being diagnosed with fibromyalgia.iv

  10. True: Nine in 10 fibromyalgia patients are open to new treatment options.iv

Rate Your Expertise:

How many answers did you get right? 

0-3     Time to brush up on your fibromyalgia knowledge.

4-7     You’re on your way.

8-10   You really know your stuff!

Check out www.osteopathic.org/fibro to learn more about fibromyalgia and find interactive resources, such as the Is It Fibro? Tip Sheet and 60 Day Action Plan that will prepare you for a discussion about fibromyalgia with your physician.  


i. National Fibromyalgia Association – “Newly Diagnosed Patient”: http://fmaware.org/PageServer0bbc.html?pagename=fibromyalgia_overview

ii. Mayoclinic.com – “Fibromyalgia symptoms or not? Understand the fibromyalgia diagnosis process”: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fibromyalgia-symptoms/AR00054

iii. Lyrica –“Is a prescription medicine approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to manage 3 difficult-to-treat nerve pain conditions—fibromyalgia, diabetic nerve pain, and pain after shingles.” (Manufactured/Product by Pfizer): http://www.lyrica.com/Default.aspx

iv. “Fibromyalgia Survey” – Kelton Research, January 2012.

v. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases – “Questions about Fibromyalgia”: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Fibromyalgia/default.asp#b