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Concerns Tied to Depression in Arthritis, Lupus Patients
February 28, 2007
about appearance are associated with depression in people with
rheumatic arthritis or lupus, an Australian study finds.
arthritis can cause physical deformities, especially of the hands and
feet, while lupus can cause skin rashes and lesions and hand deformity.
published in the March issue of the journalArthritis Care &
Research, examined 157 patients with lupus, newly-diagnosed rheumatoid
arthritis, or chronic rheumatoid arthritis who filled out
questionnaires designed to assess the patients' disability,
health-related quality of life (HRQOL), psychological distress, and
results showed that all the patients had increased levels of
psychological distress and that the lupus patients' HRQOL was
negatively affected. The study also found that 53 percent of lupus
patients said they felt unattractive because of their disease, compared
with 30 percent of chronic rheumatoid arthritis patients and 34 percent
of patients with newly-diagnosed disease.
was a link between appearance concerns and physical disability and
depression in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and between
appearance concerns and depression in lupus patients, the researchers
"By investigating which factors affect distress, psychological
therapies can be improved to target specific areas and minimize the
psychological impact of the disease," the study authors wrote.
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