The experience of rheumatoid arthritis pain and fatigue: Examining momentary reports and correlates over one week
Article first published online: 8 DEC 2005
Copyright © 1997 American College of Rheumatology
Arthritis & Rheumatism
Volume 10, Issue 3, pages 185–193, June 1997
How to Cite
Stone, A. A., Broderick, J. E., Porter, L. S. and Kaell, A. T. (1997), The experience of rheumatoid arthritis pain and fatigue: Examining momentary reports and correlates over one week. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 10: 185–193. doi: 10.1002/art.1790100306
- Issue published online: 8 DEC 2005
- Article first published online: 8 DEC 2005
- Manuscript Accepted: 5 DEC 1996
- Manuscript Received: 10 JUN 1996
- Rheumatoid arthritis;
- Ecological Momentary Assessment
Objective. To evaluate the daily experience of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in an ecologically valid manner; Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) was employed. Diurnal cycles and within-day variation of self-reported pain and fatigue were examined as were relationships between pain, fatigue, daily stressful events, and sleep.
Methods. Thirty-five patients with RA were alerted with an electronic beep 7 times per day for 7 consecutive days. Assessments were recorded at each beep. Upon awakening each day, sleep information was reported.
Results. There were large individual differences in variation of pain and fatigue. Stressors were associated with increased pain but not fatigue. Subjects with poor sleep had higher levels of pain and fatigue. Diurnal cycles of pain and fatigue were found, yet were observed for only some patients (37% and 34%, respectively).
Conclusion. The use of EMA deepens our understanding of the pain and fatigue experienced by RA patients. This method may help identify subgroups of patients who are highly “psychoreactive” to environmental stimuli and/or who have diurnal patterns to their symptoms. It may also be used to improve existing instruments.