Fibromyalgia involves multiple and dispersed tender points that induce pain. In conjunction with the pain are the psychological symptoms of depression, anxiety, and fatigue. This study examined associations between tender point counts, and components of somatization, including childhood events, illness and self-care behavior, and fatigue.
The authors began with 289 subjects that displayed psychological distress assessed by the General Health Questionnaire, Somatic Symptom checklist, and Illness Attitude Scales. Of these, 99 (34%) had a high tender point count. When evaluating these 99 subjects (and comparing them to low-count participants) the authors found the following psychological and somatic trends among high tender point patients:
These findings indicate, "It is possible that these characteristics of somatization and illness behavior, and their childhood antecedents, contribute to the development of the syndrome of fibromyalgia."McBeth J, Macfarlane G, Benjamin S, et al. The association between tender points, psychological distress, and adverse childhood experiences. Arthritis & Rheumatism 1999;42(7):1397-1404.