Study shows fibromyalgia misdiagnosis is common

A study published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research has found that there is a disparity between the clinician-based diagnosis and criteria-based diagnosis of fibromyalgia. South Carolina should know that there may be a diagnostic misclassification of the disease.

The study involved 497 patients in a university clinic who completed the Multidimensional Health Assessment Questionnaire and a questionnaire listing the preliminary diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia that the American College of Rheumatology had developed in 2010. Patients then went through an evaluation by rheumatology staff.

In all, 121 patients, almost 25 percent, met the ACR criteria for fibromyalgia, and almost 21 percent were diagnosed with fibromyalgia by a clinician. The two bases for diagnosis agreed with each other 79.2 percent of the time. Still, clinicians did not positively diagnose 60 patients who were criteria-positive, and they incorrectly diagnosed 43 patients with fibromyalgia who were criteria-negative.

Investigators state that the results put into question the effectiveness of those studies based on the International Classification of Diseases. Though the criteria are easy to use, there are problems regarding clinician bias and a lack of understanding the meaning of a fibromyalgia diagnosis.

The misdiagnosis of any condition can be serious. Patients may suffer needlessly, and the real condition they suffer from may worsen all the while. If patients believe their case involves potential malpractice, they may want to see an attorney who works in this field. Malpractice claims end in some of the largest settlements possible, but at the same time, they can meet some of the sternest opposition.

An attorney may start by requesting an inquiry with the local medical board. He or she might hire third parties to conduct their own investigation, and medical experts may come in to determine the exact extent of injuries. Victims may leave all negotiations to their attorney.