Fibromyalgia syndrome: Canadian clinical working case definition, diagnostic and treatment protocols- A consensus document

Objectives: To establish an expert consensus toward a working case definition of FMS and a working guide to its management for physicians in Canada.

Methods: An Expert Subcommittee of Health Canada established the Terms of Reference and selected an Expert Medical Consensus Panel representing treating physicians, teaching faculty, and researchers. The editors prepared a draft document which was reviewed by the Panel members in preparation for the Consensus Workshop, which was held on March 30 to April 1, 2001. Subsequent writing assignments produced subdocuments on key topics relevant to the objectives. The subdocuments were then integrated into a submission document which was approved by each of the panel members.

Results: The completed document is provided. It contains sections on a new approach to case definition, on proposed research to validate the new case definition, on a practical approach to assessment of severity, on empathetic management; and on what is known about pathogenesis.

Conclusions: A consensus document was developed to assist clinicians in distinguishing FMS from other syndromes/illnesses that may present with body pain. It is intended that this document serve as a guide: to a better understanding of FMS; to a more reasoned approach to its management; and to further research on the clinical care of people with FMS.