Fibromyalgia: An Environmental Scan

Table of Contents


Chronic pain (CP) encounter visits account for one of the largest areas of health care utilization in primary health care with fibromyalgia syndrome as the most common chronic pain syndrome encountered in general medicine and rheumatology (Peterson, 2007). Numerous conditions account for chronic pain disorders and many have overlapping symptoms and treatments. Chronic pain can be difficult to manage and debilitating to those who suffer with a myriad of impacts to their daily life. The following report strives to orient the reader to common chronic pain disorders as well as provide an in-depth review of a specific CP syndrome, fibromyalgia.

dmgroup was commissioned by the Jesse & Julie Rasch Foundation to complete an Environmental Scan in the area of Chronic Pain with a specific focus on Fibromyalgia Syndrome. The purpose of the project was to provide the Jesse & Julie Rasch Foundation with the necessary background information and networking contacts to use in their endeavor to establish an endowment fund in the area of chronic pain. The goal of the scan is to use accessible and credible information to lead the Jesse & Julie Rasch Foundation in making pertinent decisions in providing resources to improve the burden of illness for people with chronic pain and specifically for those living with fibromyalgia syndrome.

The environmental scan consists of a review of the:

  1. Academic Literature
  2. Gray Literature
  3. Pertinent Organizations
  4. Electronic Information
  5. Key Informant Interviews

Results of the scan clearly demonstrate the increasing need for allocated funds to support research along with additional resources in the area of chronic pain disorders. Global estimates of the prevalence of chronic pain, the lack of understanding of the causes, ability to diagnose, treat and manage various chronic pain disorders demonstrated more research and resources are required to address the pervasive and universal burden of illness caused by chronic pain. The final funding recommendations (Section 4) propose key areas to focus on along with providing some identified issues necessary to consider regarding the domain of chronic pain.

The report consists of:

  1. A summary of an environmental scan inclusive of academic literature, gray literature, relevant organizations, electronic information sources and key informant interviews completed to date
  1. A comprehensive resource of electronic sources and organizations relevant to chronic pain syndromes in general, specific sources for fibromyalgia along with brief summaries of  other co-occurring syndromes of fibromyalgia such as irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, and systemic lupus erythematosus and other chronic pain disorders such as myofascial pain syndrome and chronic headaches
  1. List of key informants and contact information

Recommendations for areas of research, identified areas of resource needs along with items to reflect on in the area of chronic pain while establishing an endowment fund.