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Arthritis Rheum. 1988 Oct;31(10):1245-51.

Self-evaluation processes and adjustment to rheumatoid arthritis.

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  • 1Rehabilitation Program Office, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599-7200.


In this study we examined whether the impact of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) on psychological well-being is mediated by the way patients evaluate their physical abilities. The primary focus was on patients' satisfaction with their physical abilities and the types of comparisons that patients make between themselves and other people (i.e., social comparisons) when evaluating their abilities. Seventy-five women with RA were interviewed. Findings indicate that satisfaction with one's physical abilities appears to mediate the relationship between physical and psychological impairment. Furthermore, satisfaction was associated not only with one's abilities per se, but also with the types of comparisons patients made when evaluating their abilities. These findings help explain differences in the levels of psychological well-being noted among individuals with the same degree of physical impairment.

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