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Depression and disability in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis

Özlem Altındağ, Abdurrahman Altındağ, Neslihan Soran, Hasan Tabur.

Objective: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inşammatory joint
disease that results in a major disability. Osteoarthritis is a chronic
condition characterized by degeneration especially in weight loading
joints. The purpose of the study was to determine the depressive
symptoms and the level of disability in patients with rheumatoid
arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA).

Method: Participants were 75 patients with RA (n=32) and OA (n=43).
The Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) was used to evaluate the
activities of daily living and disability level, and Hamilton Depression
Rating Scale (HAM-D) was used to evaluate depression levels of the
patients. The quality of life was evaluated with Short Form-36 (SF-36).
The severity of pain was evaluated by Visual Analogue Scale (VAS).

Results: HAM-D scores of the patients with RA were significantly
higher than those with OA. All subscale scores of SF-36 except
physical role limitations were significantly lower in RA group than OA
group. Mean VAS score was higher in RA patients than in OA patients.
All subscale scores of HAQ were significantly higher in patients with
RA than patients with OA. Dressing, eating and walking subscales of
HAQ were positively correlated with HAM-D scores in patients with RA.

Conclusion: In conclusion, depressive symptoms were more
common in patients with RA than those with OA. Further, depression
levels were related with disability levels in patients with RA.
Psychological evaluation of the patients with RA may provide better
compliance to treatment and better prognosis in patients with RA.

Key words: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, quality of life, depression

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