Negative Social Comparisons Worsen Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Personal relative deprivation is when people compare themselves negatively with others. This often results in negative emotions that can further trigger the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Studies show that personal relative deprivation can negatively affect both the mental and physical health of a person.

The research team, from the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, conducted a study to determine if such condition has an impact on fibromyalgia. They also included those who have suffered from gastrointestinal symptoms in the study.

Data from the study showed that the scores on personal deprivation assessment can also predict the scores in the fibromyalgia impact questionnaire. The scores were way beyond what can be explained when using demographic measures such as the patient’s educational attainment, age, anxiety and depression.

Patients who undergone a formal fibromyalgia diagnosis scored higher in negative social comparison assessment. They also scored higher in the fibromyalgia impact questionnaire as compared to those who have no formal fibro diagnosis. Experts believe that stress contributed by negative social comparison can negatively affect patients’ symptoms.


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