Nav: Home

Link between mood, pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients

July 28, 2015

Depressive symptoms and mood in the moment may predict momentary pain among rheumatoid arthritis patients, according to Penn State researchers.

"The results of this study link momentary positive and negative mood with momentary pain in daily life," said Jennifer E. Graham-Engeland, associate professor of biobehavioral health. "That is, we found evidence consistent with a common, but largely untested, contention that mood in the moment is associated with fluctuation in pain and pain-related restrictions." The link was examined among individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, but may extend to other populations.

Greater positive mood as assessed in the moment -- in daily life -- was associated with less pain and fewer arthritis-related restrictions in the moment, whereas negative mood was associated with more restrictions. Individuals who reported greater depressive symptoms in general also reported more common pain and restrictions in daily life. This effect of depressive symptoms was not due to differences in day-to-day mood.

The researchers report their results in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, currently available online.

Study participants were provided mobile devices that prompted them to rate their own mood and pain five times a day across seven days. Ratings of pain, swelling, stiffness, and arthritis-related restrictions to routines and activities were similarly obtained five times a day across the same period.

"Although it is relatively common to hear people in everyday life acknowledging that their mood can exacerbate their physical pain, most evidence for this view is derived from cross-sectional comparisons, longitudinal associations over fairly lengthy periods of time, such as months or years, or laboratory studies where mood and/or pain are manipulated, as opposed to naturally occurring in everyday life," Graham-Engeland said.

According to the researchers, several recent studies have used end-of-day assessments of mood and pain. In their study, this approach was extended to use multiple assessments per day to examine associations between mood and pain within individuals.

Study results also suggest that positive mood may be particularly important.

"Several of our analyses suggest that momentary positive mood is more robustly associated with momentary pain than negative mood," Graham-Engeland said.

The researchers speculate that multi-component interventions aimed at both mood and depression and which incorporate non-traditional interventions as additions to pharmaceutical therapies may be needed to optimally improve pain and pain-related quality of life in many people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Although the researchers note that important questions remain about causality as well as directionality of effects, the present research suggests that interventions to target depression as well as interventions to target momentary mood warrant investigation for individuals with rheumatoid arthritis and, perhaps, chronic pain in general.
-end-
Also on the project were Danica C. Slavish, doctoral candidate, and Joshua M. Smyth, Professor, Department of Biobehavioral Health, as well as Matthew J. Zawadzki, formally a post-doctoral fellow in Biobehavioral Health and now assistant professor at the University of California at Merced.

A grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to Smyth supported this work. A National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program award to Slavish also supported work on the manuscript.

Penn State

Related Rheumatoid Arthritis Articles:

New pieces added to the molecular puzzle of rheumatoid arthritis
researchers have revealed new details about how joint inflammation evolves in rheumatoid arthritis, and the cells that prolong the inflammatory attack.
Thermal cameras effective in detecting rheumatoid arthritis
A new study, published today in Scientific Reports, highlights that thermal imaging has the potential to become an important method to assess Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis -- can its onset be delayed or prevented?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disorder that leads to significant health issues as well as high treatment costs.
Disease burden in osteoarthritis is similar to rheumatoid arthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA) has traditionally been viewed as a highly prevalent but milder condition when compared with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and some may believe that it is part of a normal aging process requiring acceptance, not treatment.
Prospect of a new treatment for rheumatoid arthritis
An international research group led by Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin has completed testing a new drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
Can rare lymphocytes combat rheumatoid arthritis?
Immunologists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg have demonstrated that ILC2, a group of rare lymphoid cells, play a key role in the development of inflammatory arthritis.
How environmental pollutants and genetics work together in rheumatoid arthritis
New research documents how chemicals and a certain gene activate an enzyme to increase the risk and severity of RA and bone destruction.
Rheumatoid arthritis meets precision medicine
Scientists are bringing precision medicine to rheumatoid arthritis for the first time by using genetic profiling of joint tissue to see which drugs will work for which patients, reports a new multi-site study.
Causes of death in rheumatoid arthritis patients
Mortality rates were increased for patients with rheumatoid arthritis relative to the general population across all causes of death in a recent Arthritis Care & Research analysis.
Menopause found to worsen symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
A recent study published in Rheumatology suggests that women with rheumatoid arthritis suffer a greater decline in physical function following menopause.
More Rheumatoid Arthritis News and Rheumatoid Arthritis Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.