Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 610615, 13 pages
Review Article

A Systematic Overview of Reviews for Complementary and Alternative Therapies in the Treatment of the Fibromyalgia Syndrome

1Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, Kliniken Essen-Mitte, Faculty of Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen, 45276 Essen, Germany
2Department of Internal Medicine 1, Klinikum Saarbrücken, 66119 Saarbrücken, Germany
3Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Munich University of Technology (TUM), 81865 München, Germany

Received 5 January 2015; Accepted 26 May 2015

Academic Editor: Antonella Fioravanti

Copyright © 2015 Romy Lauche et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. This systematic overview of reviews aimed to summarize evidence and methodological quality from systematic reviews of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for the fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). Methods. The PubMed/MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, and Scopus databases were screened from their inception to Sept 2013 to identify systematic reviews and meta-analyses of CAM interventions for FMS. Methodological quality of reviews was rated using the AMSTAR instrument. Results. Altogether 25 systematic reviews were found; they investigated the evidence of CAM in general, exercised-based CAM therapies, manipulative therapies, Mind/Body therapies, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, phytotherapy, and homeopathy. Methodological quality of reviews ranged from lowest to highest possible quality. Consistently positive results were found for tai chi, yoga, meditation and mindfulness-based interventions, hypnosis or guided imagery, electromyogram (EMG) biofeedback, and balneotherapy/hydrotherapy. Inconsistent results concerned qigong, acupuncture, chiropractic interventions, electroencephalogram (EEG) biofeedback, and nutritional supplements. Inconclusive results were found for homeopathy and phytotherapy. Major methodological flaws included missing details on data extraction process, included or excluded studies, study details, and adaption of conclusions based on quality assessment. Conclusions. Despite a growing body of scientific evidence of CAM therapies for the management of FMS systematic reviews still show methodological flaws limiting definite conclusions about their efficacy and safety.