Title. Roles and well-being among healthy women and women with rheumatoid arthritis.
Aim. This paper is a report of a study examining the relationships among number of roles, role quality, role stress, role balance, and psychological well-being in women diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
Background. A substantial literature exists examining multiple roles in healthy women. However, less is known about multiple roles and well-being in women with a chronic illness such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Methods. A questionnaire study was conducted in 2003 examining four role-related constructs (number of roles, quality of roles, role stress, and role balance) and psychological well-being in healthy women (n = 47) and women diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (n = 50). Correlation coefficients and multiple regression analyses were calculated to determine the nature of the relationships among the variables.
Findings. The two groups were similar in demographics except for employment, with fewer women with rheumatoid arthritis employed. The two groups differed statistically significantly on psychological well-being. Women with rheumatoid arthritis had a lower mean psychological well-being score than healthy women. Regression analyses revealed that role stress was the only unique predictor of psychological well-being in healthy women, while role balance was the sole unique predictor among women with rheumatoid arthritis.
Conclusion. Women with rheumatoid arthritis experienced lower levels of well-being than their healthy counterparts. Examination of the relationships among the variables can facilitate the development of interventions to improve these women’s mental health. Nurses are in a position to assess the psychosocial needs of women with rheumatoid arthritis and assist those experiencing role stress and role imbalance.