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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2001 Apr;40(4):387-92.

Self-efficacy and health status in rheumatoid arthritis: a two-year longitudinal observational study.

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  • 1Norwegian Resource Centre for Rheumatological Rehabilitation, Oslo City Department of Rheumatology, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Oslo, Norway.



To investigate the relationship between baseline level of self-efficacy for pain and other symptoms and changes in measures for similar dimensions of health status over a period of 2 yr in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


Data collected from patients with RA enrolled in a county-based disease register in Oslo, Norway were analysed: 815 patients were examined by mail questionnaire in 1994 and again in 1996. Relationships of the baseline level of self-efficacy and demographic variables with 2-yr changes in health status measures were examined by bivariate and multiple regression analysis. The following health status measures were included: pain and fatigue on a visual analogue scale; the patient's global assessment of disease activity; the symptom and affect scales of the Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales (AIMS2); and the bodily pain, mental health, general health and vitality scales of the Short Form-36 (SF-36).


For all health status measures, there was a significant correlation between the change over a 2-yr span and baseline self-efficacy, even after adjustment for demographic variables and for the baseline level of the health status measure. Favourable changes were associated with high self-efficacy scores.


In patients with RA, the baseline levels of self-efficacy for pain and other symptoms seem to influence 2-yr changes in health status measures regarding these aspects.

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