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Iowa residents who suffer from fibromyalgia may be interested in the results of a study that was published in Arthritis Care & Research. According to the study, there should be agreement between both the criteria-based diagnosis of fibromyalgia and the clinical diagnosis of the disease. For the study, the investigators identified potential diagnostic misclassifications of fibromyalgia by comparing published criteria with clinical diagnoses.

The participants of the study were 497 patients from a university clinic. The patients were required to complete two forms. One was the 2010 American College of Rheumatology questionnaire regarding preliminary diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia, and the other form was the Multidimensional Health Assessment Questionnaire. After the patients completed the two questionnaires, they were examined by rheumatology personnel.

The number of patients who met the criteria for fibromyalgia as set by the ACR totaled 121, or 24.3 percent of the respondents. A clinical diagnosis of fibromyalgia was given to 104 of the patients, or 20.9 percent of the respondents. The rate of consensus between the criteria-based diagnosis and the clinical-based diagnosis was 79.2 percent. It is important to note that 60 criteria-positive patients could not be identified by the clinicians and that the clinicians also misidentified 43 of the criteria-negative patients.

An attorney who practices medical malpractice law may work to protect the rights of clients whose medical condition, such as fibromyalgia, has been misdiagnosed. The attorney may consider the factors of a case and file lawsuits against the negligent medical professionals for misdiagnoses or the failure to diagnose that resulted in a worsened condition, delayed treatment, injury, permanent disability, unnecessary treatment, pain and suffering or death. If necessary, litigation might be used to prove how negligent medical diagnoses and treatment caused patients to sustain unnecessary medical expenses and a decline in their quality of life.