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Misdiagnosis common in fibromyalgia cases

The results of a recent study indicate that there is only a fair level of agreement between criteria-based and clinical diagnoses in cases of fibromyalgia. Misdiagnoses of Ohio patients can lead to significant damages and may constitute medical malpractice. The study, which was published in Arthritis Care & Research, involved 497 patients who completed the 2010 American College of Rheumatology questionnaire and the Multidimensional Health Assessment Questionnaire. After they finished the questionnaires, the results were compared.

The level of agreement between the two diagnostics was 79.2 percent, with 121 patients meeting the American College of Rheumatology standards for fibromyalgia diagnosis and 104 being clinically diagnosed with the disease. However, medical practitioners missed 49.6 percent of patients who met the criteria and misdiagnosed 11.4 percent of patients who did not meet the criteria.

The researchers concluded that there was considerable disagreement between criteria-based diagnosis and clinical diagnosis. The problem was blamed in part on bias among clinicians. In cases where a patient has been misdiagnosed with a disease or a diagnosis is missed, the patient may be subjected to unnecessary medical treatment or may not get the medical treatment he or she needs. If the patient is not treated properly, the disease may get stronger or spread.

The victim of a misdiagnosis may want to reach out to a medical malpractice injury lawyer. Legal counsel could help the injured party determine the course of events that led to the injury. A lawyer might conduct witness interviews or bring in medical experts to build a case for trial. In many cases, a lawyer can negotiate a settlement with at-fault parties before trial becomes necessary.