Earthquake vulnerability of fibromyalgia patients: Six-month follow-up after the catastrophic disasters in central Italy

Fausto Salaffi, Fabiola Atzeni, Rossella Talotta, Marco Di Carlo, Piercarlo Sarzi-Puttini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. To investigate the 6-month impact of the catastrophic earthquakes that struck central Italy in August and October 2016 on the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of patients with fibromyalgia (FM). Methods. We compared a cohort of 55 consecutive FM patients who had been exposed to an earthquake with a control group of 49 FM patients who had not been exposed to it. At each timepoint (baseline, and after one, two, four and six months), the patients completed self-reported electronic versions of the revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQR) and the Fibromyalgia Activity Score (FAS) on a web platform. Results. At baseline, there were no significant between-group differences in the total FIQR score or the scores of its three domains of function, overall impact and symptoms, and no significant differences in the total FAS score or the FAS fatigue, quality of sleep, and Self- Assessment Pain Scale (SAPS) scores. However, after six months of observation, the median total FIQR score was higher in the earthquake-exposed patients (241.00, 95% confidence interval [CI] 230.55-255.35) than in the unexposed patients (177.50, 95% CI 157.30-185.48; p < 0.0001), and the same was true of the median total FAS score (26.86, 95% CI 25.78-28.18 vs. 22.76, 95% CI 20.92-24.34; p < 0.0001). Moreover, there were also significant differences in all of the FIQR and FAS domain scores. Conclusion. A natural catastrophe such as an earthquake can have a significant impact on the major domains of pain, fatigue, sleep, and the overall quality of life of FM patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-99
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Rheumatology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Earthquakes
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ)
  • Self-administered Fibromyalgia Activity Score

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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