Date of Award

Fall 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Lisa D Morgan

Committee Chair School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 2

Dr. Carolyn Coleman



Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic pain condition that is second only to osteoarthritis. Fibromyalgia dramatically impacts the quality of life, with its many symptoms requiring a multidisciplinary approach to treatment. The recommendation is that patients with fibromyalgia are treated in primary care, as are other chronic diagnoses such as hypertension and diabetes, with referrals to other disciplines as needed. However, some primary care providers may not recognize fibromyalgia as a valid diagnosis, have received inadequate formal training in fibromyalgia, and have limited awareness of diagnostic criteria.

According to the research, as many as 3 out of 4 people with fibromyalgia go undiagnosed in any primary care practice. Providers in primary care are usually the first to evaluate patients; therefore, providers in primary care need to recognize fibromyalgia symptoms, start initial treatment, and refer for further consultation if required. Fibromyalgia (FM) symptoms can be debilitating, prolonged, and negatively affect patients' lives, environment, and family and friends. Decreases in physical ability, intellectual activity, emotional condition are some of the consequences of FM. Professional careers, personal relationships, and mental health may require several strategic interventions by several disciplines in healthcare settings. Making the need for the use of a screening tool that includes the diagnostic criteria essential. Fibromyalgia frequently occurs in the general adult population worldwide, no treatment that cures, and limited knowledge of the cause has produced patient dissatisfaction with the time it takes to diagnose, formulate a treatment plan, and as a result, has led to the development of this DNP project. Given fibromyalgia

symptomatology, absenteeism from work with a decreased quality of life, and the inability it often produces, it is essential that providers, especially in primary care, be knowledgeable regarding the diagnostic criteria for FM using a screening tool. Using the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) screening tool will assist in early diagnosis and treatment. The screening tool consists of symptom severity (SS) and widespread pain index (WPI), with no curative diagnostic screening, which aids in early diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia.