A strong and loving relationship can improve the quality of life for fibromyalgia patients.


Results from a recent study have revealed that when couples are able to talk openly and honestly about their chronic pain condition, it has a positive impact on patient outcomes. In this blog, we look at some of the findings from the study and discuss how a healthy marriage or relationship and healthy frame of mind, go hand-in-hand. Read on to find out more.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that affects several aspects of patients’ lives including physical and mental health, finances, and relationships. Patients must find ways to cope with the heavy burden that comes with fibromyalgia, which can also have an impact on their quality of life.

Recent research involving 204 fibromyalgia patients who, on average, had a low quality of physical and mental life, revealed that those who had a better relationship with their partner fared better.

The report, The Role of Spousal Relationships in Fibromyalgia Patients’ Quality of Life confirmed that similar to other chronic illnesses, improved communication between couples regarding fibromyalgia and its related issues is seen to be a protective factor.

Researchers found that many patients tend to adopt a passive, inactive stance towards managing their fibromyalgia-associated pain and as a result, felt less in control of their condition. On the other hand, patients who took a more active approach by using exercise or meditation reported they felt more in control of their symptoms and have a better quality of life, despite being in pain.

Although a strong, supportive relationship can benefit a patient, it is not known if this positive effect can overcome the negative consequences of the passive coping that the researchers reported.

Patients were asked to fill out several questionnaires that would allow researchers to evaluate their coping style, relationship with their spouses, the impact of fibromyalgia on their lives, and their quality of life.

An analysis of their responses showed there was no association between physical quality of life and the patients’ coping style or the quality of the spousal relationship. However, researchers found that coping style was significantly associated with a patients’ mental quality of life. Patients who had a more passive coping style were seen to have a worse mental quality of life and, those who reported a better relationship with their spouse also had a significantly better mental quality of life.

The research team concluded that these results “emphasise the importance of coping styles and relationship quality between patients and their spouses”. As a result of their findings, the researchers suggested incorporating strategies to improve relationships as part of a more holistic approach to care as this can help improve patient outcomes.

At Brian Barr Solicitors, we are not medical or relationship experts, however, we are solicitors who specialise in claiming compensation for fibromyalgia patients. If you believe your condition has been caused as the result of an accident that was not your fault, we can help you to claim compensation. If you would like to speak with one of our expert team, call us on 0161 737 9248 or click here to fill in our online contact form.

We do not endorse any research, studies or sources mentioned within our blogs and comments. Furthermore, we do not endorse any medical advice provided, and would strongly recommend anyone seeking medical advice to contact their local healthcare provider.