Relationship between appearance and psychological distress in rheumatic diseases
Article first published online: 28 FEB 2007
Copyright © 2007 by the American College of Rheumatology
Arthritis Care & Research
Volume 57, Issue 2, pages 303–309, 15 March 2007
How to Cite
Monaghan, S. M., Sharpe, L., Denton, F., Levy, J., Schrieber, L. and Sensky, T. (2007), Relationship between appearance and psychological distress in rheumatic diseases. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 57: 303–309. doi: 10.1002/art.22553
- Issue published online: 28 FEB 2007
- Article first published online: 28 FEB 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 OCT 2006
- Manuscript Received: 25 AUG 2005
- National Health and Medical Research Council. Grant Number: 211151
- University of Sydney Sesqui New Staff grant
- Body image;
- Rheumatoid arthritis;
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
To examine the relationship between physical appearance concerns and psychological distress in patients with rheumatic diseases.
A total of 60 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 44 with chronic rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and 53 with recent-onset RA were evaluated for levels of appearance concern and a range of illness-specific measures to determine how these demographic and clinical variables were related to the dependent variable psychological distress.
Using hierarchical multiple regression analyses, we found that both appearance concerns and levels of disability were predictive of depression in patients with RA. In the SLE sample, physical disability was predictive of depression when appearance concerns were not included in the analysis. However, disability did not predict depression when appearance concerns were entered into the analysis. This indicates that appearance concerns mediated the relationship between disability and depression in SLE. There was no association between appearance concerns and anxiety in either sample.
The results suggest that appearance concerns are strongly related to depression in patients with rheumatic diseases and should be routinely assessed.