Jones, C. J., Rakovski, C., Rutledge, D. N., & Gutierrez, A. (2014). A comparison of women with fibromyalgia syndrome to criterion fitness standards: A pilot study [Epub ahead of print]. Journal of Physical Activity and Aging.doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2011.08.006.Opens in new window


To compare fitness of women with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) aged 50+ with  performance standards associated with functional independence in late life.METHODS:  Data came from a longitudinal study tracking physical/cognitive function of 93  women with FMS and included the most recent symptoms, activity levels, and  fitness assessments. RESULTS: Most women performed below  criterion-referenced fitness standards for all measures. Nearly 90% percent of  those < 70 years scored below the standard for lower body strength. Only  ~20% of respondents < 70 years old met the criteria for aerobic endurance. A  third of those aged over 70 met the standard in agility/dynamic balance.  Physical activity was positively associated with fitness performance, while  pain and depression symptoms were negatively associated.  DISCUSSION:  High proportions of women with FMS do not meet fitness standards recommended  for maintaining physical independence in late life, indicating a risk for  disability. Regular fitness assessments and targeted exercise interventions are warranted.



Rutledge, D. N., Cantero, P. J., & *Ruiz, J. E. (2013). Chronic pain management strategies used by low income overweight Latinos. Chronic Illness. 9(2), 133-144. doi: 10.1177/1742395312464719Opens in new window


The objective of this study is to  examine the strategies used to manage chronic pain from the perspective of the  individual in group interviews.  METHODS: Sixteen low-income overweight Latino adults participated in two  group interviews facilitated by a trained moderator who inquired about the type  of chronic pain suffered by participants, followed by more specific questions  about pain management. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim  (Spanish), back-translated into English, and analyzed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: Participants' pain varied in  type, location, and intensity. Participants discussed pain-related changes in  activities and social life, and difficulties with health care providers, and as  a result, we discovered five major themes: pain-related life alterations,  enduring the pain, trying different strategies, emotional suffering, and  encounters with health care system/providers.  DISCUSSION: Findings indicated that there are opportunities  for providers to improve care for low-income overweight Latinos with chronic  pain by listening respectfully to how pain alters their daily lives and  assisting them in feasible self-management strategies.


Rutledge, D. N., Martinez, A., Traska, T. K., &. Rose, D. J. (2013). Fall experiences of persons with fibromyalgia over 6 months. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 69 (2), 435-48. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2012.06026.xOpens in new window


To describe circumstances and consequences of falls occurring among persons with fibromyalgia who had recent falls. BACKGROUND: Fibromyalgia is a common widespread pain condition that has been linked to increased fall-risk. No published research described experiences of falling in persons with fibromyalgia. Prior to development of fall-risk reduction interventions, it is essential to understand the context of falls and fall experiences in persons with fibromyalgia.  DESIGN: Descriptive longitudinal study.  METHODS: The study took place during 2009; data were collected via fall diaries and interviews in 18 US women ages 21-69 years.  RESULTS: Over 6 months, 17 of 18 participants fell or had a near-fall. For the 15 women with 6-month fall-prevalence data, median number of falls was 2, with 3 near-falls. Most fall experiences contained intrinsic and extrinsic contributory factors. Participants reported engaging in various activities prior to falls/near-falls. A substantial minority (32-48%) experienced severe symptoms (pain, fatigue, stiffness) at the time. Most falls/near-falls occurred in homes during the day; one resulted in injury. Themes that were identified included the following: always being careful or generally cautious; fear of losing control of one's body, especially related to balance; desire to continue activities counterbalanced with frustration at not being able to because of fear of falling; perception of having become clumsy.  CONCLUSIONS: Nurses caring for persons with fibromyalgia should assess for potential fall-risk factors and offer plans for individualized fall-prevention strategies.