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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Hinders for continued work among persons with fibromyalgia

Kaisa Mannerkorpi124* and Gunvor Gard3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg, Sweden

2 Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden

3 Department of Health Sciences, Division of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, Lunds University, Lunds, Sweden

4 University of Gothenburg Centre for Person-centred Care (GPCC), Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg, Sweden

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2012, 13:96  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-96

Published: 11 June 2012



Work disability is common among women with fibromyalgia (FM). The aim of the study was to investigate what health problems and work-related difficulties lead to hinders for continued work among women with FM.


A qualitative interview study. Twenty-seven gainfully employed women with FM participated in five focus group interviews. Their median age was 52 years, ranging from 33 to 62. The transcribed interviews were analyzed by content analysis.


Health problems and work-related demands were identified. Limited physical capacity, increased stress and an increased need of rest were the major health problems, while physical, psychosocial and work organizational demands were the main work-related problems. Personal factors and factors related to family influenced the strategies used to manage the imbalance between the health problems and work-related demands.


Limited physical capacity and an increased need of rest made it difficult for these women to manage the physical, psychosocial and organizational work demands. Adjustment of the work tasks and work environment were the main factors influencing whether the women with FM could work or not.

Pain; Disability; Fibromyalgia; Work; Qualitative research