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How is the impact of RA related to social participation in the context of treatment?

Sommerfeld, Claudia (2013) How is the impact of RA related to social participation in the context of treatment?

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Abstract:Objectives. The first objective of this longitudinal study was to investigate among patients with recently diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis (RA) if the improvement of social participation after one year of medical treatment was related to improvements in disease activity, pain and fatigue as well as to improvements in activity limitations. A second objective was to examine if patients who showed a relative high baseline of depressive symptoms before the onset of treatment improved less in social participation after one year of treatment than those who showed nor or few depressive symptoms. A further purpose of this study was to figure out if women participated less than men, even before treatment started. Additionally, this study aimed to find out if women increased less in social participation than men after one year of treatment. Methods. Data was collected right before treatment began as well as one year after treatment with the use of the ‘Short Form Health Survey’ (SF36) and the DAS28 and was acquired from altogether 302 patients recently diagnosed with RA. Social participation was assessed with three subscales (Social Functioning, Role-emotional, Role-physical) of the SF36. The Impairment related variables were measured by a pain score (Bodily Pain), a fatigue score (Vitality scale) of the SF36 as well as by a disease activity score (DAS28). Activity limitations (Physical Functioning) as well as depressive feelings (Mental Health) were also measured with the SF36. Results. Findings supported the assumption that especially improvements in pain and fatigue are related to improvements in social participation. Changes in activity limitations were only associated with improvements in two domains of social participation (Role-emotional and Role-physical). Other than expected, it could not be confirmed that changes in disease activity contributed to an improvement in social participation. A further inference that can be drawn from the results is that depressive feelings at baseline mainly seemed to hamper treatment effects on social participation after one year of treatment. The study also offered insight into gender differences. Women appeared to be more restricted in social participation both before and after one year of treatment, probably resulting from severe experience of impairments and activity limitations. Conclusion: The study stresses the importance of a necessary alignment of treatment to several factors, such as depressive feelings in patients or gender, in order to account not only for an improvement of functionality.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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