How do I track Progress for patients with FM ?
The fourth and final pillar of the FM framework
for primary care is to track patient progress. This
involves measuring progress against the goals set
for the patient and adjusting the treatment plan
in accordance with progress. The same patient
assessment tools used to set treatment goals
with patients with FM can be used to track patient
progress over time.
Key points for tracking patient progress
The course of FM is often not straightforward, with pain and symptoms fluctuating over time1,2
Coping with medication side effects and adherence issues, symptoms that wax and wane, and the
varying impact of FM all make FM management a dynamic process for both the clinician and the patient
With appropriate management, most patients do make progress
Progress can especially be made if patients can be encouraged to maintain a focus on achieving
functional improvements over time, rather than on their daily ups and downs
To help patients from getting discouraged and to monitor whether treatment
goals are being achieved, tracking the progress of patient function and FM
symptoms is essential.
Tools for tracking progress for patients with FM
The same patient assessment tools used to set treatment goals with patients with FM can be used to
track patient progress over time. These tools are:
1. Burckhardt CS. Educating patients: self-management approaches. Disabil Rehabil. 2005;27(12):703-709.
2. Harris RE, Williams DA, McLean SA, et al. Characterization and consequences of pain variability in individuals with fibromyalgia.
Arthritis Rheum. 2005;52(11):3670-3674.