Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

The Contribution of Social Capital and Coping Strategies to Functioning and Quality of Life of Patients With Fibromyalgia

Boehm, Amnon PhD*; Eisenberg, Elon MD; Lampel, Shirly MA*

doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e3181fdabcf
Original Articles

Objectives The study aimed to determine the degree to which social capital (a combination of social resources that can be beneficial to a person's physical health and well-being), personal coping strategies, and additional personal and disease-related factors, contribute to the functioning and quality of life (QoL) of fibromyalgia (FM) patients.

Methods In the assessment of their functioning and QoL, 175 Israeli FM patients completed the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) and the Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) (dependent variables). In addition, they completed a modified Social Capital Questionnaires (which tests 3 subtypes of social capital: bonding, bridging, and linking), COPE-Multidimensional Coping Inventory (measures the use of problem vs. emotional-focused coping strategies), and a personal demographic questionnaire (independent variables). A multivariate regression analysis was used to assess the relative contribution of each independent variable to functioning and QoL of these patients.

Results The regression analysis showed that: (1) Bonding social capital and particularly the friend-connections component of bonding social capital contributed to the FIQ score and to the SF-36 parameters of social function, mental health, and bodily pain. (2) Problem-focused coping strategy contributed to the mental health parameter of the SF-36, whereas emotional-focused coping strategy contributed negatively to the FIQ score and to the mental health, general health, and bodily pain parameters of the SF-36. (3) In addition, duration of FM symptoms contributed to the SF-36 parameters of general health, social function, mental health, and bodily pain but not to the FIQ score; whereas, work status contributed significantly to the variance of FIQ.

Discussion Bonding social capital, problem-solving coping strategies, and the duration of FM contribute positively to functioning and QoL of FM patients; whereas, emotional-focused coping strategies do the opposite. Further research to test the effects of strengthened social capital and enhanced problem-solving rather than emotion-focused coping strategies on functioning and QoL of FM patients is warranted.

*School of Social Work, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, Haifa University

Institute of Pain Medicine, Rambam Health-Care Campus, The Technion—Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel

Reprints: Elon Eisenberg, MD, Institute of Pain Medicine, Rambam Health Care Campus, P.O. Box 9602, Haifa, 31096 Israel (e-mail:

There are no conflicts of interest to declare. There were no sponsors and no financial gain occurred for any authors at any stage throughout this study.

Received April 16, 2010

Accepted September 17, 2010

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.