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Psychosomatic Features, Compliance and Complementary Therapies in Rheumatoid Arthritis

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 3 ]


Rostislav A. Grekhov*, Galina P. Suleimanova, Andrei S. Trofimenko and Liudmila N. Shilova   Pages 215 - 223 ( 9 )


This review highlights the issue of psychosomatic conditions in rheumatoid arthritis, paying special attention to new researches and trends in this field. Emerging concepts in all the major parts of the problem are covered consecutively, from the impact of chronic musculoskeletal pain on the emotional state to disease influence over quality of life, socio-psychological, and interpersonal relationships. Chronic pain is closely related to emotional responses and coping ability, with a pronounced positive effect of psychotherapeutic interventions, family and social support on it. Psychosexual disorders, anxiety, depression also commonly coexist with rheumatoid arthritis, leading to further decrease in quality of life, low compliance, and high suicide risk. Influence of psychosomatic conditions on the overall treatment effect is usually underestimated by rheumatologists and general practitioners. Psychosomatic considerations are of great importance for up-to-date management of rheumatoid arthritis, as they strongly influence the quality of life, compliance, and thereby disease outcomes. Two major approaches of psychological rehabilitation exist, both coping with pain through the regulation of emotion and psychotherapeutic intervention, which not only helps patients in coping with the disease, but also aimed at improving the overall adaptation of the patient. It includes techniques of relaxation, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and biofeedback therapy. Current data about the efficacy of the additional correcting therapies for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, both emerging and common ones, are discussed in the review.


Rheumatoid arthritis, psychological stress, anxiety, depression, quality of life, compliance.


Research Institute for Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, Volgograd, Research Institute for Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, Volgograd, Research Institute for Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, Volgograd, Volgograd State Medical University, Volgograd

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