Minimal clinically important difference in the fibromyalgia impact questionnaire

Robert M. Bennett, Andrew G. Bushmakin, Joseph C. Cappelleri, Gergana Zlateva, Alesia B. Sadosky

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    257 Scopus citations


    Objective. The Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) is a disease-specific composite instrument that measures the effect of problems experienced by patients with fibromyalgia (FM). Utilization of the FIQ in measuring changes due to interventions in FM requires derivation of a clinically meaningful change for that instrument. Analyses were conducted to estimate the minimal clinically important difference (MCID), and to propose FIQ severity categories. Methods. Data from 3 similarly designed, 3-month placebo-controlled, clinical treatment trials of pregabalin 300, 450, and 600 mg/day in patients with FM were modeled to estimate the change in the mean FIQ total and stiffness items corresponding to each category on the Patient Global Impression of Change. FIQ severity categories were modeled and determined using established pain severity cutpoints as an anchor. Results. A total of 2228 patients, mean age 49 years, 93% women, with a mean baseline FIQ total score of 62 were treated in the 3 studies. Estimated MCID on a given measure were similar across the studies. In a pooled analysis the estimated MCID (95% confidence interval) was 14% (13; 15) and for FIQ stiffness it was 13% (12; 14). In the severity analysis a FIQ total score from 0 to < 39 was found to represent a mild effect, ≥ 39 to < 59 a moderate effect, and ≥ 59 to 100 a severe effect. Conclusion. The analysis indicates that a 14% change in the FIQ total score is clinically relevant, and results of these analyses should enhance the clinical utility of the FIQ in research and practice. The Journal of Rheumatology

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1304-1311
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Rheumatology
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Jun 1 2009


    • Clinical trial
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Fibromyalgia impact questionnaire
    • Minimal clinically important difference
    • Pain
    • Severity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Rheumatology
    • Immunology and Allergy
    • Immunology


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