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Cognitive factors in fibromyalgia: The role of self-concept and identity related conflicts
Compañ, Victoria; Feixas i Viaplana, Guillem; Varlotta, N.; Torres, Mercedes (Torres Viñals); Aguilar Alonso, Ángel; Dada, Gloria; Saúl Gutiérrez, Luis Ángel
Universitat de Barcelona
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome characterized by the presence of diffuse and chronic musculoskeletal pain of unknown etiology. Clinical diagnosis and the merely palliative treatments considerably affect the patient's experience and the chronic course of the disease. Therefore, several authors have emphasized the need to explore issues related to self in these patients. The repertory grid technique (RGT), derived from personal construct theory, is a method designed to assess the patient's construction of self and others. A group of women with fibromyalgia (n = 30) and a control group (n = 30) were assessed using RGT. Women with fibromyalgia also completed the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire and a visualanalogue scale for pain, and painful tender points were explored. Results suggest that these women had a higher present self-ideal self discrepancy and a lower perceived adequacy of others, and it was more likely to find implicative dilemmas among them compared to controls. These dilemmas are a type of cognitive conflict in which the symptom is construed as"enmeshed" with positive characteristics of the self. Finally, implications of these results for the psychological treatment of fibromyalgia are suggested to give a more central role to self-identity issues and to the related cognitive conflicts.
(c) Taylor and Francis, 2011
Taylor and Francis

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