Assessment of physicians’ knowledge and awareness of fibromyalgia: a cross-sectional study


  • Airenakho Emorinken Department of Internal Medicine, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Edo State, Nigeria
  • Mercy Ofunami Dic-Ijiewere Department of Internal Medicine, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Edo State, Nigeria
  • Oluwaseun Remi Agbadaola Department of Internal Medicine, Al jawal General Hospital, Uyun Al-jawal, Saudi Arabia
  • Tijani Idris Ahmad Oseni Department of Family medicine, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria
  • Patrick Ojojarumiu Echekwube Department of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria
  • Asuwemhe Johnson Ugheoke Department of Internal Medicine, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Edo State, Nigeria; Department of Family medicine, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria
  • Onosegbe Moses Aikhuomogbe Department of Internal Medicine, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Edo State, Nigeria



Awareness, Fibromyalgia, Knowledge, Physician



Background: Fibromyalgia is not an uncommon cause of chronic musculoskeletal pain, and despite its rising prevalence, it remains a diagnostic challenge for physicians. This study aimed to assess the knowledge and awareness of fibromyalgia among Nigerian physicians.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional, self-reported online survey. A total of 502 physicians participated in the study. The data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire. The questionnaire comprised of sociodemographic data and questions related to fibromyalgia. A scoring system was developed to stratify knowledge of fibromyalgia into very low, low, average, high, and very high. The level of significance was set at p<0.05.

Results: Responses were obtained from 502 physicians with a mean age of 36±7.02 years. Most of the respondents (41.3%) had low fibromyalgia knowledge levels. Only 15.2% of the respondents obtained their knowledge of fibromyalgia during their undergraduate training, and 33.5% were familiar with at least one diagnostic criteria. Physical exercise (79.2%), opioids (65.6%), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (63.8%) were the most selected treatment options. The years in clinical practice, type of health facility, respondents’ cadre, and specialty were significantly associated with fibromyalgia knowledge levels (p<0.001). The number of years in clinical practice was found to be a predictor of fibromyalgia knowledge (p=0.001).

Conclusions: This study found low levels of fibromyalgia knowledge among Nigerian physicians. The survey emphasizes the importance of improving Nigerian physicians' training modules for the diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia.

Author Biography

Airenakho Emorinken, Department of Internal Medicine, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Edo State, Nigeria

Department of Internal Medicine



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Original Research Articles