To determine which factors physicians consider important in patients with chronic generalized posttraumatic pain.
Using physician membership directories, random samples of 287 Canadian general practitioners, 160 orthopedists, 160 physiatrists, and 160 rheumatologists were surveyed. Each subject was mailed a case scenario describing a 45-year-old woman who sustained a whiplash injury and subsequently developed chronic, generalized pain, fatigue, sleep difficulties, and diffuse muscle tenderness. Respondents were asked whether they agreed with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia (FM), and what factors they considered to be important in the development of chronic, generalized posttraumatic pain.
More-recent medical school graduates were more likely to agree with the FM diagnosis. Orthopedists (28.8%) were least likely to agree, while rheumatologists (83.0%) were most likely to agree. On multivariate analysis, 5 factors predicted agreement or disagreement with the diagnosis of FM: (1) number of FM cases diagnosed by the respondent per week (p