Dis positional affect in unique subgroups in rheumatoid arthritis patients
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease characterized by joint swelling and tenderness at multiple sites in the body. These symptoms have a disabling effect on an individuals’ mental and physical health. Individuals with RA experience significant levels of chronic pain that negatively impacts multiple quality of life domains. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis may experience increased negative outcomes if they exhibit specific patterns of dis- positional affect.
A study was conducted to identify the subgroups of patients with rheumatoid arthritis based on dis-positional affect. The secondary objective of the conducted study was to compare mood, pain catastrophizing, fear of pain, disability and quality of life between sub groups. Outpatients from a rheumatology clinic were categorized into subgroups by a cluster analysis that was based on dis-positional affect. However, differences in outcomes were compared between clusters through multivariate analysis of co variance.
After the evaluation of data, 227 patients were divided into two sub groups. Cluster 1(n= 85) included patients reported significantly higher scores on all dis-positional variables (experiential avoidance, anxiety, sensitivity, worry, fear of pain and perfectionism), compared to patients in Cluster 2. Patients in Cluster 1 also reported the significantly greater mood impairment, pain anxiety, sensitivity and pain catastrophizing. However, Clusters did not differ on quality of life or disability.
On completion of the trial, a subgroup of RA patients who scored significantly high on dis-positional affect and reported increased mood impairment, pain, anxiety, sensitivity and pain catastrophizing. Further, dis-positional affect was also considered within subgroups of patients with RA helped in health professionals tailor interventions for the specific stressor that those patients experienced.