Condition category
Musculoskeletal Diseases
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting
Publication status

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic condition that causes pain all over the body. Other symptoms include an increased sensitivity to pain, extreme tiredness, muscle stiffness, headaches, depression, difficulties sleeping and problems with memory and concentration. The aim of this study is to assess the performance of a new treatment (intervention) called the PASSAGE programme, which has been developed as a series of group therapy sessions to both alleviate symptoms and help patients to self-manage their symptoms.

Who can participate?
Patients who are 18 years or over, with a medical diagnosis of FMS and motivated to fully participate in the PASSAGE programme.

What does the study involve?
Participants are randomly allocated to one of two groups. The intervention group attend 8 group sessions (with 8 people in each group). Each session covers practical and emotional techniques for coping with FMS (psycho-education), cognitive behavioral therapy-related techniques and exercise activities. A follow up group session then takes place six months after the completion of the programme. The waitlist group continue with their usual treatment until the first group completes the PASSAGE programme, after which they also take part. A series of questionnaires completed by both groups are used to assess how well the intervention performs.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Possible benefits include better self-management of FMS and alleviation of symptoms. There is little risk in taking part in the study, the only inconvenience being giving up time and resources to participate in the research (e.g. traveling, completing questionnaires).

Where is the study run from?
The University of Sherbrooke (Canada)

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
September 2009 to March 2011

Who is funding the study?
1. Community Alliances for Health Research and Knowledge Exchange in Pain of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) (Canada)
2. AstraZeneca Canada Inc. (Canada)
3. Pfizer Canada Inc. (Canada)

Who is the main contact?
Dr Manon Choinière

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr Manon Choinière


Contact details

Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal
Tour Saint-Antoine
rue Saint-Denis
Bureau S03-428
H2X 0A9
+1 (0) 514 890 8000, ext. 14082

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

Multicomponent interdisciplinary group intervention for self-management of fibromyalgia: a mixed-methods randomized controlled trial



Study hypothesis

The aim of the present study was thus to evaluate, quantitatively and qualitatively, the efficacy of the PASSAGE Program - a multicomponent interdisciplinary group intervention for the self-management of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) for improving the clinical condition of patients suffering from this type of disorder.

Ethics approval

Ethics Committees of the University of Sherbrooke (Université de Sherbrooke), 15/05/2009, ref. 09-034
University of Québec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue (Université de Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue) 26/05/2009

Study design

Mixed-methods multicenter open-label randomized wait-list controlled trial with both a quantitative and a qualitative aspect

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet


Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), chronic pain


1. Intervention group : The PASSAGE program is a structured multicomponent interdisciplinary group intervention aimed at reducing FMS symptoms and maintaining optimal function through the use of self-management strategies and patient education. The intervention consists of 8 group sessions with 8 participants lasting 2.5h each. Each session involved 3 major components
1.a. Psycho-educational tools
1.b. Cognitive behavioral therapy-related techniques
1.c. Patient-tailored exercise activities. A follow-up group session is schedule 6 months after the end of the intervention
2. Waitlist group : Participants randomized to the waitlist group were instructed to continue their treatment as usual until they could take part in the PASSAGE Program - i.e., 3 months after the intervention group had completed the program.

Intervention type



Not Applicable

Drug names

Primary outcome measure

Pain intensity. Pain intensity was measured with a standardized numerical rating scale (NRS)

Secondary outcome measures

1. Severity of FMS (Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire)
2. Pain interference (Brief Pain Inventory)
3. Impact of pain on sleep quality (Chronic Pain Sleep Inventory)
4. Pain coping strategies and (Coping Strategy Questionnaire)
5. Tendency to catastrophize (Pain Catastrophizing Scale)
6. Depressive symptoms (The Beck Depression Inventory)
7. Health-related quality of life (SF-12v2)
8. Patient global impression of change (PGIC)
9. Perceived pain relief (0 to 100% Pain Relief Scale)

Quantitative data were collected in both study groups at baseline (T0), after the intervention group completed the 8 sessions of the PASSAGE Program (T1), and 3 months later (T2). In order to document and further capture the intervention group patients’ experiences, face-to-face open ended group narrative qualitative interviews were conducted 6 to 9 months after completion of the PASSAGE Program.

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

1. Aged 18 years or older
2. Had a medical diagnosis of FMS based on the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) classification criteria for at least 6 months
3. Reported pain of at least moderate intensity (at least 4/10) in the seven days prior to enrolment
4. Were motivated to attend all group sessions and to integrate the proposed self-management strategies
5. Agreed to not introduce new medications or treatments/therapies over the course of the PASSAGE program

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

64 (32 per study site)

Participant exclusion criteria

1. Subjects who presented pain-related symptoms commonly associated with FMS (e.g., irritable bowel syndrome, migraine)
2 Those who suffered from chronic pain syndromes other than FMS (e.g., painful diabetic neuropathy)
3. Physical/psychiatric disorders that could compromise their participation in the study

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment


Trial participating centre

Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal
H2X 0A9

Sponsor information


Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (Canada)

Sponsor details

c/o Dr Patricia Bourgault
Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CRCHUS)
12e Avenue Nord
J1H 5N4
+1 (0) 819 346 1110, ext. 12885

Sponsor type

Hospital/treatment centre



Funder type


Funder name

Community Alliances for Health Research and Knowledge Exchange in Pain of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) (Canada)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Funder name

AstraZeneca Canada Inc. (Grant # 86787) (Canada)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Funder name

Pfizer Canada Inc. (Canada)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

2015 results in:

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes