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J Caring Sci. 2015 Sep 1;4(3):233-41. doi: 10.15171/jcs.2015.024. eCollection 2015.

Relationship between Sleep Disorders, Pain and Quality of Life in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

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Department of Nursing, Nursing and Midwifery Faculty, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
Department of Nursing, Hematology and Oncology Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Iran.
Department of Internal Medicine, Medicine Faculty, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.



Rheumatoid arthritis as one of the most common autoimmune diseases is known to be one of the leading causes of disability. Sleep disorders have direct influence on patient's life. According to studies, sleep problems are known to have negative impact on well-being and functioning, but the exact nature of relationship between sleep disorders and Rheumatoid arthritis is not completely understood. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between sleep disorders, pain and quality of life in patients with rheumatoid arthritis patients.


In a descriptive -correlative study, 210 patients with rheumatoid arthritis referred to Tabriz medical university clinics selected by convenience sampling and were assessed by Sleep Disorders Questionnaire (SDQ), Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), SF-36 Quality of Life Questionnaire and Visual Analog Scale (VAS). Data were analyzed using SPSS-13 by descriptive statistics such as frequency, mean (SD) and inferential statistics including Spearman correlation analysis, linear regression, χ(2),t-test and ANOVA.


The mean age of participants was 48.41(12.92) years in which most of them (74%) were female. The mean (SD) quality of life was 40.51(22.94), sleepiness 13.14 (5.6) and pain 6.09 (2.14). There was significant negative relationship between some sleep disorders such as (naps, apnea, asphyxia,…) and pain with quality of life but pain severity had more effect on QOL compared to sleep problems. Furthermore, participants had low quality of life with more restriction in physical (mean=34.71) and general health (mean=34.42).


Sleep problems and pain were associated with poor quality of life in Rheumatoid Arthritis patients.


Pain; Quality of life; Rheumatoid arthritis; Sleep disorders

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