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Papers of the Week

Papers: 2 Nov 2019 - 8 Nov 2019


Human Studies

2020 Apr

Scand J Psychol



Pain appraisal and quality of life in 108 outpatients with rheumatoid arthritis.


Larice S, Ghiggia A, Di Tella M, Romeo A, Gasparetto E, Fusaro E, Castelli L, Tesio V
Scand J Psychol. 2020 Apr; 61(2):271-280.
PMID: 31674683.


Individual differences in emotional functioning, pain appraisal processing, and perceived social support may play a relevant role in the subjective experience of pain. Due to the paucity of data regarding individuals with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), the present study aimed to examine pain intensity, emotional functioning (psychological distress and alexithymia), pain appraisal (pain beliefs, pain catastrophizing, and pain-related coping strategies) and social support, and their relationships with the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with RA. Data were collected from 108 female patients diagnosed with RA. Clinically relevant levels of depressive and anxiety symptoms assessed by the HADS subscales were present in 34% and 41% of the patients, respectively, and about 24% of them exhibited the presence of alexithymia. The results of hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed that pain intensity, alexithymia, the maladaptive beliefs regarding the stability of pain and the coping strategy of guarding explained 54% of the variance in the physical component of HRQoL (p < 0.001). Depression subscale of the HADS, alexithymia, the coping strategy of resting, and the rumination factor of pain catastrophizing significantly explained 40% of the variance in the mental component of HRQoL (p < 0.001). The present findings provide evidence regarding the importance of emotional functioning and pain appraisal in the negative impact of RA on patients' quality of life. These findings provide additional evidence for the biopsychosocial model of chronic pain, further supporting the complex interaction between emotional, cognitive, and behavioral processes in patients with chronic pain.