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Editor's Correspondence
April 10, 2000

Fibromyalgia: Is Recovery Impeded by the Internet?

Arch Intern Med. 2000;160(7):1039-1040. doi:

In his review article on fibromyalgia, Goldenberg1 stated that "the diagnostic label itself does not promote sickness behavior unless it is used as a substitute for patient information and education." While this may be true of many patients with many illnesses, I think it questionable whether this applies to many sufferers with what is diagnosed as fibromyalgia. It would be a complacent physician who would assume that provision of a diagnosis and some "official" patient information about this disorder would be sufficient to satisfy most patients. In the current state of knowledge about fibromyalgia, the information available often raises more questions in the patient's mind than provides reassurance. The dissatisfaction with the outcome of the consulting process is reflected in the frequency with which second, third, and many other opinions are sought. This "physician-shopping" behavior does not only occur after consultation with skeptical doctors.

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