Fibromyalgia Integrative Training Program for Teens (FIT Teens) – A Pilot Trial

The purpose of this 2-year NIH-funded study (R21-AR063412) is to evaluate the initial efficacy of a new specially designed training program combining cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) with a specialized neuromuscular exercise program developed in close collaboration with sports medicine experts to help improve movement competence and psychological coping, and reduce pain symptoms in teenagers with juvenile fibromyalgia (JFM). The primary goal is to evaluate whether the FIT Teens program, is more effective than CBT alone for treatment of disability and pain in adolescents with JFM. We are currently planning a large multi-site clinical trial of FIT Teens supported by an NIH-funded (U34 AR067978) planning cooperative agreement.

As part of the trial, several subprojects related to 1) psychological coping efficacy and fear of movement, 2) biomechanical assessments of gait, posture, balance and strength, 3) daily diary monitoring of pain, sleep, physical activity and fatigue and 4) actigraphy monitoring of physical activity, are ongoing.

Quantitative Sensory Testing of Pressure Pain Threshold in Adolescents with Juvenile Fibromyalgia and Healthy Controls

This project, is an experimental study designed to measure sensitivity to mechanical pressure in patients with juvenile fibromyalgia syndrome (JFM) and healthy teenagers as a comparison. The results of this study will help better measure pressure pain sensitivity in adolescents with JFM and design future studies to further understand in the mechanisms of amplified pain sensitivity in JFM.

Longitudinal Study of Adolescents with Juvenile Fibromyalgia

This project, directed by Susmita Kashikar-Zuck, is a five-year NIH-funded (RO1-AR054842) follow-up study to assess long-term physical and psychosocial health of teenagers with juvenile fibromyalgia as they enter young adulthood. The goal is to determine the long-term prognosis of juvenile fibromyalgia and whether adolescents with JFM have outcomes similar to healthy young adults. This study follows an existing cohort of patients with fibromyalgia and healthy control participants.

Parent Perceptions of Child and Adolescent Pain Behaviors

The goal of this study, directed by Anne Lynch-Jordan, PhD, is to develop and validate a pain behavior questionnaire that measures parents’ perceptions of the types and frequency of pain behaviors observed in adolescents with chronic pain. The long-term goal is to determine how parent perceptions of adolescents’ pain behaviors affect parenting decisions and impact child disability, coping strategies, school attendance and treatment adherence.

Collaborative Projects

Preliminary Validation of the new American College of Rheumatology Diagnostic Criteria in a Pediatric Population with Juvenile Fibromyalgia 

The aim of this project in collaboration with Dr. Tracy Ting in the Division of Rheumatology, is to test a new questionnaire/tool that could help diagnose fibromyalgia in children and adolescents. The purpose of this research study is to see if the new American College of Rheumatology (ACR) guidelines, published in 2010, used to diagnose adults with fibromyalgia can be applied to children and adolescents.

PROMIS in Pediatric Pain, Rheumatology and Rehabilitation

This project is an NIH-funded study (U01 AR057940) in collaboration with Esi Morgan DeWitt, MD, MSCE (principal investigator, Division of Rheumatology). The goal of the study is to develop ways to assess pain, pain quality and pain behavior in children with pain, rheumatic disease or cerebral palsy. The project is part of a wider NIH initiative to develop validated patient-reported outcomes in chronic illness using item-response theory for tailored assessments with computerized adaptive testing (PROMIS, or Patient Report Outcomes Management Information Systems).