Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) is a chronic centralized pain disorder characterized by widespread pain and fatigue. Of those affected by FMS, the majority are women, and minimal research exists involving men. The purpose of this paper is to describe the pain and fatigue experiences of men with FMS from two Western countries, Spain and the United States, in order to support more accurate and earlier recognition and diagnosis in men.
We used individual and focus group interviews with qualitative and quantitative assessments.
Ten men in Spain and seven men in the United States provided information about their symptoms, psychosocial and health-seeking behaviors, and gender experiences with FMS.
Men articulated types, trends, and triggers of pain and fatigue that enrich an understanding of their symptoms. For example, men report more localized pain than generalized pain. Employment status and activities, among other contextual factors, impacted men’s pain and fatigue experiences.
Men experience distinct facets of pain and fatigue compared with women, with notable similarities and differences across the Spanish and U.S.
Cross-cultural comparisons highlight contextual factors that may inspire future inquiries about determinants of men’s experiences with FMS.
The present study could be useful for anyone treating men suffering from FMS, especially care providers in nursing, medical, and psychology fields. These initial findings may prompt a closer examination of recommendations for assessment and diagnostic criteria used internationally for patients with FMS with better recognition of men’s experience.

Copyright © 2021 American Society for Pain Management Nursing. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.