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

  • Y. Zyrianova
  • B. D. KellyEmail author
  • C. Gallagher
  • C. McCarthy
  • M. G. Molloy
  • J. Sheehan
  • T. G. Dinan
Original Paper



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


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.


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


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.


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


Rheumatoid Arthritis Social Support Beck Depression Inventory IRISH Journal Significant Independent Predictor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. Zyrianova
    • 1
    • 2
  • B. D. Kelly
    • 1
    Email author
  • C. Gallagher
    • 3
  • C. McCarthy
    • 4
  • M. G. Molloy
    • 5
  • J. Sheehan
    • 1
  • T. G. Dinan
    • 6
  1. 1.Dept of Adult PsychiatryUniversity College Dublin, Mater Misericordiae University HospitalDublin 7
  2. 2.Lucena ClinicSt John of God ServiceBray
  3. 3.Dept of PsychologyUniversity CollegeDublin
  4. 4.Dept of RheumatologyMater Misericordiae University HospitalDublin 7
  5. 5.Dept of RheumatologyUniversity College HospitalCork
  6. 6.Dept of PsychiatryUniversity CollegeCork

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