Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 187–197

Depression History, Stress, and Pain in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

  • Alex J. Zautra
  • Brendt P. Parrish
  • Christina M. Van Puymbroeck
  • Howard Tennen
  • Mary C. Davis
  • John W. Reich
  • Mike Irwin


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.


Pain Stress Depression history Rheumatoid arthritis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex J. Zautra
    • 1
  • Brendt P. Parrish
    • 1
  • Christina M. Van Puymbroeck
    • 2
  • Howard Tennen
    • 3
  • Mary C. Davis
    • 1
  • John W. Reich
    • 1
  • Mike Irwin
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.Estrella Mountain Community CollegeAvondaleUSA
  3. 3.University of Connecticut Health CenterFarmingtonUSA
  4. 4.University of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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