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Prevalence of Fibromyalgia in Pharmacy Professionals and Students: A Cross-Sectional Study

Authors AlAujan SS, Almalag HM, Omair MA

Received 13 January 2021

Accepted for publication 25 February 2021

Published 31 March 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 837—847


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jonathan Greenberg

Shiekha S AlAujan,1 Haya M Almalag,1 Mohammed A Omair2

1Clinical Pharmacy Department, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 2Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence: Shiekha S AlAujan
Clinical Pharmacy Department, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Email [email protected]

Background: The prevalence of fibromyalgia (FM) in pharmacy students and professionals is unknown. This study identifies the prevalence of FM in pharmacy students and professionals using three screening tools and factors associated with its development. Furthermore, this study assesses the level of agreement between the tools and the magnitude of the participants’ responses to each item in the screening tools.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey conducted on members of the Saudi Pharmaceutical Society using an online questionnaire. The participants were asked to fill three questionnaires: the London Fibromyalgia Epidemiology Study Screening Questionnaire (LFESSQ), Fibromyalgia Rapid Screening Tool (FiRST) and Fibromyalgia Survey Questionnaire (FSQ). Demographic data and factors affecting FM in pharmacy students and professionals were collected and analysed.
Results: Two hundred ninety-three participants accessed the survey: most of them were Saudi (93.5%) and females (78.8%) with a mean (standard deviation) age of 29 (8) years. Furthermore, 52% of the participants had generalised body pain. The prevalence of FM using FiRST, LFESSQ Pain, LFESSQ with fatigue criteria and FSQ was 27.1%, 34.9%, 50.9% and 68.4%, respectively. Fleiss’ kappa coefficient revealed fair agreement among all three screening tools (kappa = 0.350; p < 0.001). After adjusting for significant variables, the resulting adjusted odds ratio of developing FM was 4.86 in people working for 41– 45 h weekly (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.32– 17.84; p = 0.017), 5.16 in people who frequently wake up during sleep (95% CI, 1.85– 14.40; p = 0.002) and 12.99 in people with sleep apnea or other sleeping disorders (95% CI, 2.07– 81.68; p = 0.006).
Conclusion: FM was prevalent among pharmacy students and professionals and was much more than data reported on the general population or other healthcare workers. Traditional factors along with higher working hours were identified as significant variables.

Keywords: fibromyalgia, epidemiology prevalence, pharmacy.

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