Benefits of spa treatment in people with fibromyalgia

Researchers in The Netherlands report temporary improvement in quality of life.

First, the details.

  • 134 patients with fibromyalgia were randomly assigned to a 2.5 week spa treatment course in Tunisia or to usual care only.
  • Changes in health were assessed using the Short Form 6D (SF-6D) as an overall measure of health and the visual analogue scale (VAS).

And, the results.

  • Among 128 patients who completed the study, improvement in general health lasted until 6 months.
  • But after 1 year there were no differences between groups.
  • The cost of spa treatment — exposure to seawater (eg, hot tub) or application of sea products (eg, seaweed or sea salt) for health or beauty benefits — including airfare and lodging was about €1311 ($1771) per patient.

The bottom line?
The cost for most people is probably manageable, and there appears to be some short-term benefit.

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.