Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disorder characterized by pain stiffness and swelling in the joints with long standing effects on quality of life and is complicated by the presence of medical and psychiatric comorbidity. The current study was aimed at comparing the psychopathology, quality of life and life satisfaction between patients with RA and healthy controls. Methodology: There were two groups in the study – a study group with RA patients (n=97) and control group with their first-degree relatives (n=93). A semi-structured proforma collected data related to socio-demographic variables and RA. The groups were assessed using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, WHO Quality of Life scale brief version and Satisfaction with Life Scale. The scores were statistically analyzed and presented. Results: The mean age of the sample was 44.94 ± 13.02 years (range 18-82 years) and that of the control group was 23.02 ± 8.41 years (range 18-55 years). The mean duration of illness of the group was 7.2 ± 16.9 years (range 1-40 years). Major depression was the commonest disorder seen in 73.1% (n=73) patients with RA. Generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and suicidal feelings were also detected. The RA group had significantly lower QOL scores in the psychological and environmental domains of QOL Life satisfaction scores were also significantly lower in the RA group (p=0.0001) when compared to controls. Conclusion: Patients with RA have significant psychopathology that warrants attention and this affects their quality of life and life satisfaction. Further longitudinal studies in this area to gain clinical and epidemiological Indian data are warranted.
A. Sousa, Charmi Mehul Dedhia, S. Sonavane
Telangana Journal of Psychiatry