Health services utilization by fibromyalgia patients from two ethnic groups

Yulia Treister-Goltzman, Roni Peleg, Iftach Sagy, Idan Menashe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: The cost to the healthcare system of management and treatment for fibromyalgia patients is high. The aims of the study were to identify and compare factors associated with the use of healthcare services among fibromyalgia patients in southern Israel from two ethnic groups. Methods: A cross-sectional study of patients insured in the southern district of the Clalit Healthcare Services in Israel in 2019–2020. The data were collected from the central computerized system. Multivariable regression models were developed for healthcare services utilization. Results: During the study period, 7686 members were diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The median for specialist consultations was 47 and for imaging tests was eight. About 47% made emergency room visits and 25% were hospitalized. The median of imaging tests was significantly higher in Jewish patients than in Arab patients (8 vs. 6; p =.000). In contrast, a significantly higher rate of Arab patients visited the Emergency Room at least once (51.6% vs. 46.75%; p =.000) and they had a higher median number or Emergency Room visits (2 vs. 1; p =.003), compared with Jewish patients. In the Arab group there was a strong effect coefficient for another localized pain syndrome with specialist consultations (odds ratio [OR] 1.699; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.266–2.241) and imaging tests (OR 2.511; 95% CI 1.496–4.146). Conclusions: The utilization rate of healthcare services is high among fibromyalgia patients. The factors associated with high healthcare utilization are different in the two ethnic groups. Future studies could show if interventions designed to address modifiable factors could reduce the overutilization of healthcare services.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Rheumatic Diseases
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2023


  • associated factors
  • ethnic differences
  • fibromyalgia
  • use of healthcare services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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