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Arthritis Rheum. 2003 Dec 15;49(6):778-83.

Spirituality, well-being, and quality of life in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

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  • 1Johns Hopkins AAC, 5501 Hopkins Bayview Circle, Suite 1B.15, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.



To evaluate spirituality, well-being, and quality of life (QOL) among people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


Questionnaires assessing positive and negative affect, depression, QOL and spirituality were completed. Disease activity was assessed by rheumatologic examination.


Women (n = 62) had a mean (+/- SD) age of 53.0 (+/- 13.0) years with 12 (+/- 13) swollen and tender joints (STJ). Men (n = 15) were 61.9 (+/- 13.0) years with 7 (+/- 11) STJ. Disease activity was associated (P < 0.05) positively with depression (r = 0.23), pain (r = 0.26), poorer self-ratings of health (r = 0.29) and physical role limitations (r = 0.26). Spirituality was associated directly with positive affect (r = 0.26) and higher health perceptions (r = 0.29). In multiple regression, spirituality was an independent predictor of happiness and positive health perceptions, even after controlling disease activity and physical functioning, for age and mood.


Spirituality may facilitate emotional adjustment and resilience in people with RA by experiencing more positive feelings and attending to positive elements of their lives.

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