For me, the results of this survey were personally gratifying. When I co-founded the National Fibromyalgia Association 15 years ago, the name of the organization was the National Fibromyalgia Awareness Campaign and our primary purpose was to raise awareness about fibromyalgia. At that time, very few people had ever heard of it. These surveys validate that we achieved our main goal. An amazing 92 percent of people know what FM is!
The fact that so many people view us a courageous and strong is also extremely encouraging. Yes, we still have work to do, but I think we've made incredible progress in a few short years.
One statistic from the surveys that disturbed me was that 77 percent of the people with FM had waited up to three years to seek help from a health care professional. Most (70 percent) thought their symptoms would go away. Since early treatment usually results in a better prognosis, I think one of our efforts going forward needs to be to encourage people who have symptoms of FM to see their doctors as soon as possible.
More Survey Stats
If you are interested in more information and statistics from the survey, I would encourage you to download the Fact Sheet and the Executive Summary:
Two Takes on Fibro Survey Fact Sheet
Two Takes on Fibro Survey Executive Summary
I'd love to know your reaction to these surveys. Were you surprised? Encouraged? Discouraged? Please share your thoughts.
“New surveys reveal striking differences between public perceptions and private realities of people with fibromyalgia.” American Chronic Pain Association. March 21, 2012.