Childhood adversities in patients with fibromyalgia: are they related to comorbid lifetime major depression?

A. Alciati*, F. Atzeni, M. Grassi, D. Caldirola, A. Riva, P. Sarzi-Puttini, G. Perna

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Fibromyalgia (FM) is a syndrome of unknown aetiology that is frequently associated with depressive disorders, and childhood adversities (including maltreatment and parental loss) are frequently described in subjects with FM and depression. The aim of this study was to investigate the extent to which the high percentage of childhood adversities reported by patients with FM is related to FM itself or to a comorbid lifetime depressive disorder. METHODS: Ninety-four consecutive FM patients were assessed for lifetime major depression using the DSM-IVSCID-CV interview. Childhood maltreatment was investigated using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, and information relating to parental death or separation before the age of 18 years was collected by means of a semi-structured interview. The Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale, used as a quantitative measure of depressive symptoms, and the childhood adversity assessment were recorded at the same time. RESULTS: Sixty of the 94 FM patients (63.8%) were diagnosed as having a lifetime major depressive disorder. There were no significant associations between childhood parental loss, the presence/level of maltreatment, the occurrence of a lifetime major depression episode, and the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale scores. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that there is no association between childhood adversities and comorbid lifetime major depression in patients with FM. As it would be helpful to prevent the development of FM because of the high cost and limited efficacy of therapeutic interventions, childhood adversities may offer targets for primary prevention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S112-S118
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Rheumatology
Volume35 Suppl 105
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2017


  • Adult
  • Adult Survivors of Child Adverse Events/psychology statistics & numerical data
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder, Major/epidemiology psychology
  • Female
  • Fibromyalgia/epidemiology psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


Dive into the research topics of 'Childhood adversities in patients with fibromyalgia: are they related to comorbid lifetime major depression?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this