A painful train of events: Increased prevalence of fibromyalgia in survivors of a major train crash

D. Buskila, J. N. Ablin, I. Ben-Zion, D. Muntanu, A. Shalev, P. Sarzi-Puttini, H. Cohen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    34 Scopus citations


    Objectives. To evaluate the prevalence of fibromyalgia in survivors of a major train crash in southern Israel, three years after the event. Methods. Survivors were contacted by-mail and telephone. Individuals consenting to participate in the study un-derwent physical examination, including a tender point count and dolorimetry, as well as extensive evaluation of parameters relating to quality of life, presence of widespread pain, fatigue, physical and social function, posttraumatic symptoms and symptoms related to anxiety, dissociation, depression, somatisation, etc. Results. Fifteen percent of survivors participating in the study met ACR criteria for the classification of fibromyalgia. Significantly lower rates of physical and emotional functioning were found among survivors with fibromyalgia compared with those not meeting the classification criteria. Survivors with fibromyalgia rated signifi-cantly higher on scales of somatisation, obsessive - compulsive ideation, inter-personal sensitivity, depression, anger and hostility, phobic and general anxiety, paranoid ideation and psychoticism. Survivors with fibromyalgia also rated significantly higher on scales of posttraumatic symptoms including intrusion, avoidance and arousal. These individuals also rated significantly higher on the Peritraumatic Dissociative Experiences Questionnaire (PDE-Q) and the Dissociative Experiences Scale (Hebrew version) (DES-H). Conclusion. Fibromyalgia was found to be highly prevalent, three years after a major train crash, among individuals exposed to the combination of physical injury and extreme stress. This finding is in accordance with previous data regarding the association of fibromyalgia with both physical and emotionaltrauma and calls attention to studying the underlying susceptibility factors which may partake in this association.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)S79-S85
    JournalClinical and Experimental Rheumatology
    Issue number5 SUPPL. 56
    StatePublished - 1 Dec 2009


    • Fibromyalgia
    • Posttraumatic stress disorder
    • Trauma

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Rheumatology
    • Immunology and Allergy
    • Immunology


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