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International Journal of Rheumatology
Volume 2014, Article ID 593507, 5 pages
Research Article

Pain Mystery Score Beliefs: A Comparison of Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, 13-103 Clinical Sciences Building, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2P4

Received 18 August 2014; Accepted 25 November 2014; Published 9 December 2014

Academic Editor: Tim Jansen

Copyright © 2014 Robert Ferrari and Anthony Science Russell. 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. To compare the mysteriousness scores of the Pain Beliefs and Perceptions Inventory in fibromyalgia. Methods. Two cohorts of patients, one with fibromyalgia (FM) and one with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), completed the Mystery Scale component of the Pain Beliefs and Perceptions Inventory to determine whether subjects in the two diagnostic groups had significantly different scores on the Mystery Scale. Results. A total of 126 subjects (64 FM, 62 RA) completed all questionnaires. The FM group had a greater percentage of female subjects, more severe pain, more severe anxiety, more severe depression, and a higher perceived injustice score. When the RA and FM group scores for the Mystery Scale were adjusted for age, sex, pain severity, HADS scores, and perceived injustice scores, the FM group still had a higher Mystery Scale score. Discussion. Fibromyalgia is associated with a higher level of perception of mysteriousness in the Pain Beliefs and Perceptions Inventory than is seen with rheumatoid arthritis. This difference appears to be independent of levels of pain, depression, anxiety, and perceived injustice. This sense of mysteriousness may reflect a lack of understanding of pain in fibromyalgia as previously reported and may be an area to be addressed in therapy.