, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 187-197
Date: 05 Apr 2007

Depression History, Stress, and Pain in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

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Abstract

This study examined the role of past episodes of depression on pain reports for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) before and during stress induction. A history of major depressive episodes was assessed by diagnostic interviews for 138 RA patients, 74 who later participated in a set of laboratory procedures designed to induce interpersonal stress. Patients were evaluated by a rheumatologist and then asked to report joint and bodily pain throughout the laboratory study. We found that RA patients with a history of two or more episodes of major depression had more pain at baseline, and exhibited higher pain in response to the stress induction than did RA patients with either only one episode or no history of depression. Such findings provide new insight in the dynamic relationships between depression, stress, and pain.