Psychological suffering comparison in chronic pain and rheumatoid arthritis

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Psychological suffering comparison in chronic pain and rheumatoid arthritis

Chronic pain (CP) is a very common problem affecting up to 35% of the people and has become the major reason for job absenteeism. One of the recent studies found that over 66% patients experienced high levels of pain burden, sleep disturbance, and interference with normal day to day activities. The major reason involved for all these problems is the high incidence of psychological distress among the patients with CP.

Most of the patients with CP and rheumatoid arthritis signify two samples with overlapping symptoms, such as experiencing significant pain. Recently, a cross-sectional study was conducted to compare the level of psychological distress among patients diagnosed with CP in normal clinic and those attending a specialist RA clinic. 

Both CP and RA group encompassed a total of 330 patients. The booklet containing questionnaires about demographic characteristics, duration, and severity of the pain were finished by the patients. Using a multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA), psychological and personality variables were compared.

CA group showed higher levels of psychological distress based on the subscales of the DASS (depression, anxiety, and stress), PASS (escape avoidance, cognitive anxiety, fear of pain, and physiological anxiety), and PCS (rumination, magnification, and helplessness) in comparison to the RA group. Also, the symptoms of depression and anxiety were more severe in patients with CP.

The findings of the study postulates that patients with CP experience psychological stress more than the individuals with RA referred to rheumatology clinic.

Pain Research and Management
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