THIS IS A SHANNON AWARD PROVIDING PARTIAL SUPPORT FOR THE RESEARCH PROJECTS THAT FALL SHORT OF THE ASSIGNED INSTITUTE'S FUNDING RANGE BUT ARE IN THE MARGIN OF EXCELLENCE. THE SHANNON AWARD IS INTENDED TO PROVIDE SUPPORT TO TEST THE FEASIBILITY OF THE APPROACH; DEVELOP FURTHER TESTS AND REFINE RESEARCH TECHNIQUES; PERFORM SECONDARY ANALYSIS OR AVAILABLE DATA SETS; OR CONDUCT DISCRETE PROJECTS THAT CAN DEMONSTRATE THE PI'S RESEARCH CAPABILITIES OR LEND ADDITIONAL WEIGHT TO AN ALREADY MERITORIOUS APPLICATION. THE ABSTRACT BELOW IS TAKEN FROM THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENT SUBMITTED BY THE PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR. DESCRIPTION: The long-term objective of the proposed study is to save money on health care by applying behavioral methods. A previous study showed that social support, education, and a combination of the two reduced use of the health care system, thus saving money, and improved health status. The study now proposed would build on the previous study by extending two of the three earlier interventions from the osteoarthritis patients studied earlier to fibromyalgia patients. The latter tend to be younger and to experience more widespread pain. If the generalization is successful, cost-saving techniques can be disseminated. The proposed study will be conducted in two phases. During Phase I, hematologists and family practitioners will identify situations in which contacts with the health care system are unnecessary. During Phase II, 312 health maintenance organization members with fibromyalgia will be randomly assigned to a social support, a combined education and social support condition, or a control group. Both experimental groups will have 2-hour weekly meetings for 10 weeks, and then 2-hour monthly meetings for 10 months. Participants assigned to the social support condition will spend their time developing an enduring support group. People assigned to receive a combination of social support and education will also receive the information, developed during Phase I, about when to use the health care system. The third group will serve as a no- treatment control. In addition, a group of 104 non- volunteers will be compared to the control group of volunteers. Five """"""""waves"""""""" of 63 patients will be studied. Utilization will be determined via medical records and health status via the Quality of Well-being Scale. Participants will be followed for 18 months. Several mediating variables will be studied to determine their effects on the major outcome variables, and cost-benefit and cost-utility models will be developed. If either of the interventions reduce health care costs by $1200 per person per year, as expected, the long- term savings will be great.
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