Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2020 , Vol 66 , Num 2

Alexithymia and attention deficit and their relationship with disease severity in fibromyalgia syndrome

Gülçin Elboğa 1 ,Mazlum Serdar Akaltun 2 ,Özlem Altındağ 2 ,Abdurrahman Altındağ 1 ,Ali Aydeniz 2 ,Savaş Gürsoy 2 ,Ali Gür 2
1 Department of Psychiatry, Gaziantep University, Research Hospital, Gaziantep, Turkey
2 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Gaziantep University, Research Hospital, Gaziantep, Turkey
DOI : 10.5606/tftrd.2020.2926 Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency of alexithymia and attention deficit and to evaluate their relationship with the severity of disease in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS).

Patients and methods: A total of 101 patients (6 males, 95 females; mean age 45.0 years; range, 33 to 56 years) who were admitted to Gaziantep University, Medical Faculty, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department between January 2013 and December 2013 and were diagnosed with FMS and 40 healthy volunteers (4 males, 36 females; mean age 41.5 years; range, 31 to 51 years) were enrolled in this study. The Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), Hamilton Depression Scale (HAM-D), Toronto Alexithymia Scale-26 (TAS-26), and Jasper-Goldberg Attention Deficit Test (ADT) were applied.

Results: The rate of alexithymia and possible alexithymia was 56.4% and 20.8% in the patients with FMS and 2.5% and 5% in the control group, respectively. The mean TAS-26 score was 60.1±11.7 in the patients with FMS. According to the HAM-D, depressive symptoms were seen in 72.0% and 2.5% of the patients with FMS and healthy controls, respectively.

Conclusion: Our study results confirm the presence of psychiatric comorbidities in patients with FMS and clearly suggest that depression, alexithymia, and attention deficit are high and mutually correlated in FMS patients. Therefore, all patients should be meticulously evaluated for these conditions at the treatment stage. Keywords : Alexithymia, attention deficit, depression, fibromyalgia syndrome