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Participants needed for Fibromyalgia Research Study
6 Replies
FM Researcher - July 9


1. Are you a woman who has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia?

2. Are you at least 18 years of age or older?

If you answered yes to these 2 questions, your participation is needed to help expand our understanding of the impact that early childhood experiences may have on fibromyalgia symptoms in adulthood.

My name is Nichole A. Duarte and I am currently collecting data for my dissertation study. My study is an investigation of the impact of childhood experiences on fibromyalgia symptoms in adulthood.

The online survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. The study is completely confidential and only the researcher will have access to the information from the online survey. All of the information that you provide in the survey will be secure and kept confidential through a password protected and encrypted web-based system. In appreciation for your time and effort, you will earn at least 1 entry (2 entries if you complete all of the survey questions) into a raffle for a $100.00 cash prize.

Please contact Nichole A. Duarte at (619) 543-5043 between the hours of 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday, for more information (please leave your email address or phone number when leaving a message).

Feel free to forward this email to friends, family members, or colleagues who may be interested in participating in this study.

Thank you in advance for your time, your participation is greatly appreciated.


Nichole A. Duarte, M.A., BCIA-C

Clinical Psychology Doctoral Candidate, Ph.D. Program

California School of Professional Psychology

Alliant International University, San Diego


January - July 9

Just a note to the regular posters here. I checked out this person, and she appears to be a legitimate researcher. If you google her name (spell it exactly as you see it, and add the MA), you will get to a post at the arthritis forum - you can click on the URL there and be directly connected with her and her survey. It looks like she is studying the effects of childhood physical and sexual abuse on later development of fibromyalgia.

I confess, I was little surprised at the $100 raffle idea - not something you usually see in serious research. But from what I read I am ASSUMING they are offering this money because the survey involves questions about sexual abuse that many people might have a hard time responding to. That's probably why you get TWO entries if you answer ALL the questions. Also, on a positive note, her longer post on the other forum states that if you answer the survey and difficult feelings arise, the researchers will do their best to help you locate a therapist.

I think it's a valuable research avenue, as a lot of fibro people have been victimized as children, IMO.


Pikespeak - July 10

Thanks for letting us know! I've heard that link about abuse before, but I don't fit the's kind of like saying that all people with FMS have depression.


FM Researcher - July 12


I just wanted to reply to the discussion thread regarding my study.

Yes, I am conducting legitamate FMS research (this research has been approved by the Institution Review Board at Alliant International University - California School of Professional Psychology) and details on this are more clear on the post from the arthritis forum (my apologies as this site did not allow me to post the direct link to my survey). If you call me at 619-543-5043 and leave your email address I will email you a direct link to the study, alternatively a direct link to the study has been posted at the arthritis forum (as the first post mentions).

The first post is correct that we are offering compensation due to the sensitive nature of some of the questions.

Finally, as far as not fitting the profile...any woman diagnosed with Fibromyalga (and who is over the age of 18) can complete the survey REGARDLESS of their abuse history (i.e. I can have participants that report no abuse history) because as you pointed out not all people with FMS have abuse history.

Please call me at 619-543-5043 8-5, M-F if you have any further questions or would like more information.


Nichole A. Duarte M.A.
Principal Investigator


FM Researcher - July 12

Thank you for your effort in clarifying that my Research Study is legitimate.

You are correct that the study URL can be accessed directly at the arthritis fourm. You are also corrent that I am studying the effects of childhood abuse on the later development of fibromyalgia, however (as I replied to another post) participants do not have to have abuse history to participate (i.e. individuals with fibromyalgia and no abuse history also qualify for the study). Finally you are correct about compensation (i.e. we are compenstating due to the sensitive nature of some of the questions).

Thank you for also pointing out the protection we offer to participants should any difficult feelings arise.

I hope this answers any questions you may have had regarding the study, please feel free to call me at 619-543-5043 8-5, M-F if you need further information.

Thank you for your comments regarding my study, I appreciate your support.

Nichole A. Duarte, M.A.
Principal Investigator


January - July 13

Nichole - nice to see that you came back to check our board. And thank YOU for doing this study. I freely admit that I am a victim of child abuse. (And we looked like such a nice family from the outside!) I did not do the abusing, but I had to endure it, and it affected my whole life. Once I worked through the feelings, I got some very positive things out of it!

I'm pasting in a previous post where I discussed the issue (which I think is a valid one in some cases), and a book you might be interested in for your research - maybe you've already read it! Good luck with it all - and I was quite impressed by your offer to get help for people who had trouble processing difficult memories.

"Hi peter. I googled "fibromyalgia and abuse" and "fibromyalgia and sexual abuse" and came up with a multitude of references! I specifically remember the study I read, and the author claimed an almost 100% correlation between FMS and abuse, often sexual abuse - so it was controversial. Now, there appears to be much more research into these areas - some contradictory. I don't see any research substantiating the 100% correlation, or anything nearly that high. But there a number with some correlation between trauma and fibromyalgia.

From a quick scan of articles, there appears to be more scientific research on the effect of childhood trauma on the HPA and cortisol levels. Also, some genetic research pairing fibro with genes linked to depression and what I would call "sensitivity."

Just speaking anecdotally, I was a victim of prolonged and violent child abuse, and I can think, right now, of at least five people I know with fibromyalgia who "admit" to being victimized as well. As you know, the very recognition of abuse is often difficult, if a person wishes to maintain family ties. And yet, the recognition and validation of it leads to healing. If you were abused, it was NOT your fault, and the processing of it involves something like the steps of a grief reaction. It may also tear up the family, so understandably, people are reluctant to admit this even to themselves.

There is an excellent book, Betrayal Trauma by Jennifer Freyd. Her premise is that, to survive in the family unit, the child MUST repress and "forget" the abuse, especially if it is egregious and comes from the parent(s) - because the child is totally dependent on these people for survival and must get along with them.

I think there may be validity to the idea that living in a state of constant fear and arousal causes the muscles to be abnormally tensed (along with other changes in body systems) - and eventually there is a breakdown of some kind. It is also interesting that victims of abuse often compensate by becoming over-achievers or perfectionists - and many FMS people seem to have those traits - along with the heightened sensitivity.

As you mention, badly trained therapists - in any mental health field - can take advantage of clients by taking on those who should be referred elsewhere - or by encouraging "false memory" syndrome. This is something all therapists should be aware of- and clients too! Never let a therapist put words in your mouth."


lucky13 - July 13

Most larger universities do offer some type of compensation for your time. I just completed a 15 page questioner and recieved $25 for my time. I have also found a study being done looking at the connection between TMJ and FMS, this study requires trips to the Dr but when complete pays $150.



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