Submission Type

Original Research


Background: Diet and exercise have been suggested as potentially beneficial for symptom management of fibromyalgia; however, data on the relationship between diet quality and fibromyalgia symptoms are limited.

Objective: To investigate diet quality and its relationship with 1) fibromyalgia impact, and 2) psychological health in patients with fibromyalgia who participated in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of Tai Chi versus aerobic exercise for fibromyalgia.

Methods: A cross-sectional study enrolled participants from a RCT. Diet quality and fibromyalgia symptoms were assessed using the Healthy Eating Index 2010 (HEI-2010) and Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQR), respectively. Retrospective analyses were performed using Spearman’s coefficient (r) to examine the association of diet quality with pre-intervention FIQR, psychological variables, and quality of life.

Results: Twenty-six female participants (mean age = 56 y; mean pre-intervention BMI = 29.6) of 223 trial participants (11.7%) were included in the analyses. Higher diet quality was associated with higher pre-intervention Chronic Pain Self-Efficacy scores (r=0.62, p=0.01), and lower Hospital Depression scores (r=-0.47, p=0.02). There were no significant associations between diet quality and pre-intervention severity of depressive symptoms, mental or physical health quality of life, sleep quality, or FIQR scores.

Conclusion: Preliminary results suggest a positive association between diet quality and self-efficacy and psychological health in women with fibromyalgia. Future prospective studies are needed.



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