AIM: The purpose of this research is to provide healthcare professionals with patients' views on improving care for people with fibromyalgia., BACKGROUND: Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome that often challenges patients and healthcare professionals. Current literature suggests that the people with fibromyalgia are disempowered by their interactions with physicians. Soliciting patients' suggestions for improving care can be helpful in identifying weaknesses and strengths in current physician-patient interactions, and in improving future care., METHODS: Forty-two participants with fibromyalgia submitted written responses to open-ended questions about their experiences with physicians, and how care could be improved., RESULTS: Positive interactions with physicians referenced care quality, feelings of respect and patient involvement. Negative interactions included receiving inadequate care, perceiving the physician to be uncaring and lacking knowledge of fibromyalgia., CONCLUSIONS: Unlike most research suggests, the majority of patients with fibromyalgia report having positive interactions with physicians. However, suggestions for improving care are similar throughout the literature, reinforcing the need for supportive care, empathetic listening and increased knowledge of alternative treatments., RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Patients' recommendations identified in this study can be implemented by nurses involved in providing supportive care and education to patients with fibromyalgia. Application of patients' recommendations may facilitate the creation of therapeutic alliances and improve patients' satisfaction with care.Copyright © 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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