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Purpose in life in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Authors
Journal
Clinical Rheumatology
0770-3198
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Volume
27
Issue
7
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10067-007-0822-8
Keywords
  • Original Article
Disciplines
  • Mathematics
  • Medicine
  • Psychology

Abstract

To evaluate the role of purpose in life among people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a questionnaire comprising the Purpose in Life test (PIL) and the purpose in life dimension of the Psychological Well-Being test (PWB-pil) was sent to a random sample of 300 patients with RA. Additional questions comprised sociodemographic and disease characteristics, physical, mental and social functioning, coping (Coping with rheumatic stressors questionnaire), and quality of life (RAND-36). Associations between sociodemographic and disease characteristics, physical, mental and social functioning, and coping on the one side and the two measures of purpose in life on the other side and associations between the two purpose of life measures and physical and mental dimensions of quality of life were assessed by means of univariate and multivariate regression analyses. The response rate was 156 of 300 (52%). The median PIL and PWB-pil scores were 103 (range 63–131) and 82 (41–110), respectively. A lower age, a better mental health status, and an optimistic coping style were significantly associated with both higher PIL and PWB-pil scores, whereas more participation in leisure and/or social activities was associated with a higher PIL score. It was found that the PIL and PWB-pil contributed independently and significantly to the mental component summary scale of the RAND-36. In RA patients, lower age, a better mental health status, an optimistic coping style, and participation in leisure and/or social activities were significantly associated with more sense of purpose in life. Purpose in life pays a significant and independent contribution to the mental component of quality of life. These findings highlight the significance of the concept of purpose in life in patients with RA.

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