Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) of short disease duration (i.e. ≤1 year) were compared with patients of longer disease duration (i.e. ≥10 years) in terms of RA knowledge, symptoms of anxiety, symptoms of depression and disease acceptance. In addition, the predictors of psychological distress (i.e. symptoms of anxiety and depression) were examined. Data were collected by self-administered questionnaires. As expected, patients with more established disease were significantly older and had more physical dysfunction. However, there were no statistically significant differences on anxiety, depression, acceptance of illness, pain or knowledge about RA. The need for education regarding RA and its implications was expressed by all participants regardless of disease duration. Illness acceptance beliefs were identified as significant predictors of both anxiety and depression.
Bibliographical noteLesley Cullen has subsequently changed her name to Lesley Powell.
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- psychological well-being
- patient education
- rheumatoid arthritis