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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2003 Nov;42(11):1287-94. Epub 2003 Jun 16.

A biopsychosocial model of pain and depression in rheumatoid arthritis: a 12-month longitudinal study.

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  • 1School of Behavioural and Community Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. tcovic@csu.edu.au



To cross-validate a biopsychosocial model using physical disability, helplessness and passive coping to predict depression and pain in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


Clinical and psychological measures were collected from 157 RA patients at three time points over a period of 12 months. Path analysis was used for cross-sectional and longitudinal prediction of depression and pain.


Helplessness and passive coping were found to be significant mediators of the relationship between the physical disability and future depression and pain. Cross-sectionally, the predictive model could account for 52-94% of the variance of pain and 37-71% of the variance of depression. Longitudinally, the predictive model could explain 29-43% of the variance of pain and 21-33% of the variance of depression.


These results suggest that physical disability, helplessness and passive coping have a significant impact on the levels of pain and depression experienced by RA patients.

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