Positive affect as a factor of resilience in the pain-negative affect relationship in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Elin B. Strand, Alex J. Zautra, Magne Thoresen, Sigrid Ødegård, Till Uhlig, Arnstein Finset

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

79 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study is to examine positive affect (PA) as a factor of resilience in the relationships between pain and negative affect (NA) in a sample of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Methods: Forty-three patients (30 women; mean age, 57 years) were interviewed weekly by telephone for 8 weeks. Multilevel modeling was applied to study the within-week relationships among the variables. Results: There was a Pain×PA interaction effect on NA (β=-0.05, P<.01) indicating a weaker relationship between pain and NA in weeks with more PA. Pain (β=0.37, P<.002), interpersonal stress (β=2.42, P<.001), depression (β=0.26, P<.01), average perceived stress (β=10.80, P<.001), and also weekly PA (β=-0.1, P<.01) had a main effect upon NA. Conclusion: Positive affect is most influential in reducing NA during weeks of higher pain and may be a factor of resilience, helping patients experiencing pain fluctuations as less distressful than at lower levels of PA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-484
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2006



  • Negative affect
  • Pain
  • Positive affect
  • Resilience
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this