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Understanding fatigue in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis: are pain, disability and mental health related to fatigue?

Papp, Csilla (2012) Understanding fatigue in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis: are pain, disability and mental health related to fatigue?

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Abstract:Rheumatism affects 2.3 million individuals in the Netherlands. The disease has a great impact on the health and quality of life of patients. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are two common forms of rheumatism and both share fatigue as an important symptom. Fatigue affects different areas of individuals’ daily life which can lead to serious consequences in terms of financial or social loss. Even though both illnesses share common symptoms studies comparing rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are rare. Until today, there is a lack of understanding which factors provoke fatigue. The purpose of this study was to investigate factors related to fatigue in both diseases. Three factors which were constantly cited in the literature were included consisting of pain, disability and mental health. A secondary data analysis was conducted with a sample of 744 patients from a rheumatology department of a hospital in the Netherlands. The data of the SF-36 and the Health Assessment Questionnaire was used to compare both illness groups for fatigue severity and factors relating to fatigue. The results of an independent sample t-test showed no difference in fatigue severity between rheumatoid arthritis patients and osteoarthritis patients. In a hierarchical multivariate regression analysis all three factors were significantly related to fatigue for both disease groups. However, the explained variance of 58% was higher for the osteoarthritis group compared to 52% in the rheumatoid arthritis group. More similarities than differences between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis were found in this study, suggesting that the underlying mechanisms of fatigue may be similar between both diseases. Psychological distress seems to be the key factor whereas disease specific symptoms (like pain and disability) seem to play a subordinate role in the explanation of fatigue.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/61869
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