A painful train of events: Increased prevalence of fibromyalgia in survivors of a major train crash

D. Buskila, J. N. Ablin, I. Ben-Zion, D. Muntanu, A. Shalev, P. Sarzi-Puttini*, H. Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives. To evaluate the prevalence of fibromyalgia in survivors of a major train crash in southern Israel, three years after the event. Methods. Survivors were contacted by-mail and telephone. Individuals consenting to participate in the study un-derwent physical examination, including a tender point count and dolorimetry, as well as extensive evaluation of parameters relating to quality of life, presence of widespread pain, fatigue, physical and social function, posttraumatic symptoms and symptoms related to anxiety, dissociation, depression, somatisation, etc. Results. Fifteen percent of survivors participating in the study met ACR criteria for the classification of fibromyalgia. Significantly lower rates of physical and emotional functioning were found among survivors with fibromyalgia compared with those not meeting the classification criteria. Survivors with fibromyalgia rated signifi-cantly higher on scales of somatisation, obsessive - compulsive ideation, inter-personal sensitivity, depression, anger and hostility, phobic and general anxiety, paranoid ideation and psychoticism. Survivors with fibromyalgia also rated significantly higher on scales of posttraumatic symptoms including intrusion, avoidance and arousal. These individuals also rated significantly higher on the Peritraumatic Dissociative Experiences Questionnaire (PDE-Q) and the Dissociative Experiences Scale (Hebrew version) (DES-H). Conclusion. Fibromyalgia was found to be highly prevalent, three years after a major train crash, among individuals exposed to the combination of physical injury and extreme stress. This finding is in accordance with previous data regarding the association of fibromyalgia with both physical and emotionaltrauma and calls attention to studying the underlying susceptibility factors which may partake in this association.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S79-S85
JournalClinical and Experimental Rheumatology
Issue number5 SUPPL. 56
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Fibromyalgia
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Trauma


Dive into the research topics of 'A painful train of events: Increased prevalence of fibromyalgia in survivors of a major train crash'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this