Correlates of a clinical classification schema for the arthritis helplessness subscale

Authors

  • Mitchell J. Stein PhD,

    Research Assistant Professor
    1. School of Nursing, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee; California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego; and ArthritisCare Center, Baptist Hospital, Nashville, Tennessee.
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  • Kenneth A. Wallston PhD,

    Professor of Psychology, Corresponding author
    1. School of Nursing, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee; California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego; and ArthritisCare Center, Baptist Hospital, Nashville, Tennessee.
    • Health Care Research Project, School of Nursing, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37240
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  • Perry M. Nicassio PhD,

    Associate Professor of Psychology
    1. School of Nursing, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee; California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego; and ArthritisCare Center, Baptist Hospital, Nashville, Tennessee.
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  • Nancy M. Castner BSN, RN

    Program Manager
    1. School of Nursing, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee; California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego; and ArthritisCare Center, Baptist Hospital, Nashville, Tennessee.
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Abstract

We examined the categorization of the helplessness subscale of the Arthritis Helplessness Index (AHI) into clinical ranges analogous to laboratory values, and the predictive validity of these cutoff scores over a 2-year period. Data were obtained via questionnaires mailed every 6 months over 5 time periods to 368 patients who had been diagnosed as having rheumatoid arthritis. The results demonstrate that patients classified as low helpless were distinct from those classified as normal. In turn, those classified normal were distinct from high helpless patients on numerous measures of beliefs, affect, behavior, and symptom severity. Even after 2 years, the 5-item helplessness subscale identified distinct clinical courses for these 3 groups.

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