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Outpatient Fibromyalgia Coping Skills Programme

The Bath Outpatient Fibromyalgia Coping Skills Programme (FCSP) is a multidisciplinary hospital-based interactive exercise and education group programme aimed at promoting self-management of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). It is co-led by specialist rheumatology occupational therapists and physiotherapists, with sessional input by expert patients and a dietitian.

All patients who are referred to the FCS programme receive a one-to-one therapy appointment to assess and discuss whether group education is right for them.

What does the programme offer?

• Specialist multi-disciplinary team assessment, diagnosis and rehabilitation
• Education on fibromyalgia as a medical condition
• Education and advice to promote effective management of fatigue
• Patient-centred goal setting
• Sleep advice
• Exercise advice
• Hydrotherapy
• Relaxation
• Dietary advice
• How to cope with a flare up of fibromyalgia (set back planning)

There are up to four separate FCS programmes running at any one time. Sessions run either one morning or afternoon per week over a 4 or 6 week period, providing up to 16 hours of face-to-face contact time. There is a 1.5 hour group follow-up session at 3 months.

Standardised assessments are used to assess clinical outcomes. Preliminary outcome data of 26 programmes indicate an overall improvement in self-efficacy, pain and fatigue.

One-to-one therapy input or referral to other relevant healthcare professionals will be offered to those who are either not suitable or choose not to attend the programme.

How to access the service

Individuals must have a formal, clinical diagnosis of fibromyalgia to access this service.  For further advice on this service, including referral criteria, please contact Julie Russell, senior physiotherapist or Sandi Derham, clinical specialist occupational therapist, Tel: 01225 465941 ext. 252 or email or or Dr Ashok Bhalla MD FRCP consultant rheumatologist, medical director Tel: 01225 473469

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