Anxiety and Quality of Life in Patients with Rheumatic Diseases

Introduction: Increased levels of anxiety are commonly reported by patients with rheumatic diseases in comparison to the general population. Rheumatic disease mostly follows a painful, progressively disabling course and has been shown to have a substantial impact on one’s daily quality of life and physical, social, and emotional well-being. The symptoms of rheumatic diseases can vary widely over the unpredictable disease course, which may contribute to symptoms of anxiety. Aim: The aim of the present study was to explore the frequency and determining factors of anxiety in patients with rheumatic diseases, and its association with quality of life among those patients. An additional goal was the identification of the appropriate interventions regarding anxiety management. Method: A literature review was performed via Medline, Scopus, Science Direct και Google Scholar databases, using the key-words: “rheumatic diseases”, “anxiety”, “stress” and “quality of life” and included articles published in English and Greek language during the period 1987–2017. Results: A growing amount of literature has explored the role of anxiety in patients with rheumatic disorders and concludes to high levels of anxiety ranging from 20 to 70% in these patients. This diagnosis may cause stress and uncertainty in patients and their relatives. The patient faces the unpredictable course of the disease and a painful progression marked with attacks. The resulting chronic pain, disability, social stress, isolation and movement limitations in individuals with rheumatic disorders contribute to the development of anxiety and impaired quality of life. When the clinical status in rheumatic disorders becomes complicated with anxiety, effective treatment, including drugs administration and/or psychological interventions, is necessary. Conclusion: Rheumatic diseases should be monitored for accompanying anxiety during follow-up. An increased awareness among health professionals dealing with rheumatologic patients is necessary in order to integrate detection and effective treatment of anxiety into the routine clinical practice.

Category: Volume 56, N 4
Hits: 727 Hits
Created Date: 15-12-2017
Authors: Afroditi Zartaloudi , Ioannis Koutelekos