Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Rakos, Richard

Subject Headings

Fibromyalgia, Pain -- Treatment, Sex factors in disease -- Treatment, Chronic pain, Pain clinics, fibromyalgia, interdisciplinary pain treatment, gender differences, fibromyalgia treatment outcomes, chronic pain


Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that is characterized by widespread pain and additional somatic, cognitive, and mood symptoms. Although there is no cure for fibromyalgia and it greatly impacts the lives of affected individuals, the research on gender differences in fibromyalgia symptomatology has largely been inconsistent. No study, to date, has explored sustained outcomes in women versus men in the context of an interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation program (IPRP). This retrospective study of 163 (F=135, M=28) Cleveland Clinic Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program participants investigated: 1) immediate and six month outcomes of fibromyalgia patients participating in an IPRP treatment and 2) whether there is a differential response to IPRP treatment across gender at discharge and six months following treatment. IPRP treatment produced both clinically and statistically significant improvements for both men and women in pain, mood, and function. Women maintained these improvements at six months following treatment. Men sustained statistically significant improvements but notable clinical improvements were only sustained for anxiety, stress, and pain. No gender differences were present for men and women at admission or discharge. At six months the only differences were that men reported more impairment related to functioning (F=7.37, p=.007), specifically in the areas of socialization (F=9.09, p=.003), occupation (F=9.51, p=.002), recreation (F=11.11, p=.001), and sexual activity (11.75, p=.001). Further research is necessary to substantiate men's greater impairment of functioning following IPRP treatment and explore variables associated with such

Included in

Psychology Commons