Fibromyalgia: Evidence for Deficits in Positive Psychology Resources. A Case-Control Study from the Al-Ándalus Project.
Positive psychology is the study of positive subjective experience and individual traits. Identifying deficits in positive psychology regarding fibromyalgia may inform targets for management. Therefore, the aim of the present case-control study was to compare the levels of positive affect, negative affect, satisfaction with life, optimism and emotional repair in a large sample of women with fibromyalgia (cases) and age-matched peers without fibromyalgia (controls). This case-control study included 437 women with fibromyalgia (51.6 ± 7.1 years old) and 206 age-matched women without fibromyalgia (50.6 ± 7.2 years old). Participants self-reported their levels of (i) subjective well-being on the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule and the Satisfaction with Life Scale, (ii) dispositional optimism on the Life Orientation Test-Revised and (iii) emotional repair on the Trait Meta-Mood Scale. Women with fibromyalgia showed lower levels of positive affect, satisfaction with life, optimism and emotional repair and higher levels of negative affect. Large effect sizes were found for positive affect, negative affect and satisfaction with life (all, Cohen’s d ≥ 0.80) and small-to-moderate for emotional repair and optimism (both, Cohen’s d ≥ 0.50). Women with fibromyalgia experience deficits of positive psychology resources. Thus, developing tailored therapies for fibromyalgia focusing on reducing deficits in positive psychology resources may be of clinical interest, though this remains to be corroborated in future research.