Mood and pain association in rheumatoid arthritis patients

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Mood and pain association in rheumatoid arthritis patients

According to Penn State researchers, depressive symptoms and mood in the moment may envisage momentary pain among rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients.

Jennifer E. Graham-Engeland, Associate professor, Biobehavioral health said that the results of the study, linked momentary positive and negative mood with momentary pain in daily life among individuals with RA, but may extend to other populations.   

Greater positive mood was associated with less pain and fewer arthritis-related restrictions as assessed in the moment in daily life while negative mood was associated with more restrictions. Persons who reported more depressive symptoms also reported more common pain and restrictions and this effect was not due to differences in day-to-day mood.

The results are reported in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine which is currently available online. Mobile devices were given to individuals that encouraged them to rate their mood and pain 5 times a day for 7 days. Ratings of pain, swelling, stiffness, and arthritis-related restrictions to routines and activities were also obtained 5 times a day.

According to Graham Engeland, it is common to hear people in everyday life acknowledging that their mood can worsen their physical pain. Proof for this outlook is derived from cross-sectional comparisons, longitudinal associations over long periods of time, or laboratory studies where mood and/or pain are manipulated, as opposed to naturally occurring in everyday life.

According to the researchers, end-of-day assessments of mood and pain have been used in several studies. In their study, this approach was extended to use multiple assessments per day to examine associations between mood and pain within individuals.

In Graham-Engeland’s opinion, momentary positive mood is strongly associated with momentary pain than negative mood as recommended by their few analyses. The researchers wonder that multi-component treatments meant at both mood and depression and also incorporate non-traditional treatments as an addition to pharmaceutical remedies may be required to improve pain and quality of life in many people with RA.

Although the researchers note that important questions remain about causality as well as directionality of effects, the present research suggested that treatments to target depression as well as treatments to target momentary mood demand examination for individuals with RA especially chronic pain.

Penn State
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