Efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in fibromyalgia: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

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Abstract

This article aimed to investigate the efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in fibromyalgia. The PubMed, Medline, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science databases were searched for articles published through 14 August 2021. We enrolled only randomized controlled trials. The Cochrane Collaboration risk of bias tool was used for quality assessment. Outcomes were analyzed as standardized mean differences (SMDs) with 95% CIs. The beta coefficient and p value were adopted for meta-regression. We included 18 studies comprising 643 participants. A significant reduction in disease influence, as measured by the Fibromyalgia Impact Question-naire, was observed (SMD, −0.700, 95% CI, −1.173 to −0.228), and the reduction was larger in older patients (β = −0.1327, p = 0.008). The effect persisted at least two weeks after the final treatment session (SMD, −0.784, 95% CI, −1.136 to −0.432). Reductions in pain, depression, and anxiety were discovered, which persisted for at least two weeks after the last intervention. The effects on pain and depression remained significant up to one and a half months after the final session. No serious adverse events were reported by the included articles. In conclusion, our systematic review and meta-analysis revealed that rTMS is safe and effective for managing multiple domains of fibrom-yalgia-related symptoms and older patients may have a stronger treatment effect. Larger randomized controlled trials with sufficient male populations are warranted to confirm our findings, detect rare adverse events, and determine the optimal stimulation parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4669
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Volume10
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine

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