Objective: This study examined the effects of change in interpersonal stress on disease activity among 41 women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods: Measures of everyday stressful events and perceived stress were collected weekly for twelve weeks and related to disease activity in a series of pooled time-series regression analyses. Results: Increases in the number of interpersonal stressors in the same week and one week prior were associated with increases in disease activity. Pain from joint tenderness also was significantly related to a decrease in stressful events one week later. A subgroup of 20 patients showed a significant increase in interpersonal stress from baseline during the course of the study. For this group, significant elevations in DR+CD3 cells, sIL-2R, clinician's rating of disease, and self-reports of joint tenderness were found during the week of increased interpersonal stress. Conclusions: Interpersonal stress appears to be associated with increases in disease activity among RA patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health