Original Paper

Irish Journal of Medical Science

, 175:32

First online:

Depression and anxiety in rheumatoid arthritis: The role of perceived social support

  • Y. ZyrianovaAffiliated withDept of Adult Psychiatry, University College Dublin, Mater Misericordiae University HospitalLucena Clinic, St John of God Service
  • , B. D. KellyAffiliated withDept of Adult Psychiatry, University College Dublin, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital Email author 
  • , C. GallagherAffiliated withDept of Psychology, University College
  • , C. McCarthyAffiliated withDept of Rheumatology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital
  • , M. G. MolloyAffiliated withDept of Rheumatology, University College Hospital
  • , J. SheehanAffiliated withDept of Adult Psychiatry, University College Dublin, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital
  • , T. G. DinanAffiliated withDept of Psychiatry, University College

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Background

Rheumatoid arthritis is a common, disabling, autoimmune disease with significant psychiatric sequelae.

Aims

We aimed to identify the prevalence of depression and anxiety in patients with rheumatoid arthritis attending hospitals, and to elucidate the role played by illness variables, disability variables and psychosocial variables in predicting levels of depression and anxiety.

Methods

We assessed depression, anxiety, arthritis-related pain, arthritis-related disability and perceived social support in 68 adults with rheumatoid arthritis.

Results

Sixty-five per cent of patients had evidence of depression (37.5% moderate or severe) and 44.4% had evidence of anxiety (17.8% moderate or severe). Both depression and anxiety were highly correlated with several measures of arthritis-related pain and functional impairment. After controlling for age, gender, marital status and duration of arthritis, perceived social support was a highly significant independent predictor of both depression and anxiety.

Conclusions

These findings suggest that increasing social support may be particularly important in the management of depression and anxiety in rheumatoid arthritis.