VEGA 1/4288/07: Functional status and quality of life in rheumatoid arthritis patients

Project title VEGA 1/4288/07: Functional status and quality of life in rheumatoid arthritis patients
Project leader............ Dr. Iveta Rajnicova-Nagyova
Research team (KISH) Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jitse P. van Dijk, MD; Dr. Jaroslav Rosenberger, MD; Dr. Zuzana Katreniakova, MD; Dr. Jozef Benka; Prof. Dr. Ivica Lazurova, MD; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zelmira Macejova, MD; Anna Calfova, MD
Time period January 2007 - December 2009
Financial support Ministry of Education of SR: 14.406 EUR
Description The overall aim of this project, involving researchers from relevant fields of medicine and social sciences, is to provide deeper insight into mechanisms by which biomedical and psychosocial factors influence functional status and quality of life in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Research is carried out as guided by a multilevel, integrative causal framework. The analyses are focused on identification of intra-individual/personal and extra-individual/social resources as factors counteracting the vicious cycle feedbacks loops in the process of development and progression of disability. The results of longitudinal analyses and causal modelling are empirical evidence for tailored medical and psychosocial interventions promoting better quality of life in patients with a chronic disease.
 Main findings

Biomedical factors: Poststimulation prolactine levels were significantly higher in patients with rheumatoid arthritis as compared with the controls. However these increased levels of prolactine appear rather to be a risk factor for the diseases than an inflammation marker.

Psychological factors: Patients who report high levels of functional disability are at risk of concurrently experiencing considerable mental distress, i.e. more anxiety and depression. The results also suggest the increasing importance of adjustment to disease in mediating the relationship between functional disability and psychological well-being as the disease advances.

Socio-economic factors: After controlling for pain, depression and fatigue, social support remains to be related to the adjustment to disease; and thus it appears to be an important resource for coping. Socioeconomic status is a predictor of worse health status. When controlling for patient’s self-esteem the adverse impact of socioeconomic status on functioning disappears.

 Project outcomes  List of Publications: VEGA 1/4288/07.pdf