Sunday, April 3, 2016

Criteria for Fibromyalgia on My Radar AGAIN!

Today, I am posting my letter to “Senior Specialist, Public Relations, American College of Rheumatology”. She and I have corresponded in the past on this issue, and I was assured that the ACR was not endorsing any diagnostic criteria now or in the future. Read on and you will see why I felt a need to contact her once again.

Good morning Joyce.

I am writing you because in December of 2014, you sent me a letter stating that the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) was not going to endorse any fibromyalgia diagnostic criteria. Today while researching for a freelance article, I stumbled upon the website for ACR-endorsed Criteria for Rheumatic Diseases (1) demonstrating that the ACR has endorsed the Preliminary Criteria, 2010, Wolfe F, et al. (2)

I am concerned, especially when there are other criteria better befitting the patient, i.e. the Alternative Criteria by Dr. Robert Bennett, et al. (3)  Medscape (4) and Network Rheumatology(5), and many others agree. However, there are clinicians that have been led to believe Dr. Wolfe, et al. criteria are approved, including the CDC (6). Dr. Wolfe also has a checklist on his website, ACR FM 2010 diagnostic criteria questionnaire modified for direct patient administration (7), which is misleading. And, in a Google search I find many articles stating, “How to Use the New ACR Diagnostic Criteria”.

If the criteria are not endorsed, then why was it published in a peer-reviewed journal with such a title, Preliminary Proposed, and why is it on the ACR website, Endorsed Criteria for Rheumatic Diseases? This is extremely important, because clinicians who use these criteria believe it is approved by the ACR, and people are being misdiagnosed. We are back to square one! It’s all in your head, because of these criteria. The ACR needs to take a stance on this. There is sufficient evidence to suggest there is an autonomic effect, loss of heart-rate variability, and an upset in the sympathetic nervous system response in fibromyalgia. There is much more, but suffice it to say, the ACR can search Pub Med.

I appreciate your response to my concerns and appreciate our previous correspondence. As a freelance writer for online health organizations, an author, and advocate, it is important I share accurate information. I am sure you understand.

Thank you in advance for your kind consideration. Celeste Cooper,


(3) Bennett R, et al. Arthritis Care & Research (2014) DOI: 10.1002/acr.22301.
(6) CDC – Fibromyalgia
(7) Frederick Wolfe - ACR FM2010 diagnostic criteria questionnaire modified for direct patient administration.

Following is the letter I received from you in December, 2014:

…the ACR has chosen not to endorse newly developed or validated diagnostic criteria now or in the future.

Other Reading:


Unknown said...

Stunned to read that ACR can forecast that they will not endorse validated diagnostic criteria in the future. Head in the sand much? To refuse to ever look at information developed in the future displays incredible ignorance.

…the ACR has chosen not to endorse newly developed or validated diagnostic criteria now or in the future.

The Pained Ink Slayer said...

My thinking is that they wish FM was not under the watch Belinda. We shall see. With the FM/a test now being covered by insurance, I feel, if embraced, we will see a change in research and bias. Showing immune component in a musculoskeletal disorder certainly does put it in rheumatology. Here is a link to their response.

Celeste's Website

Celeste's Website
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