Coping strategies observed in women with rheumatoid arthritis
More details
Hide details
Department of Informatics and Medical Statistics with E-learning Laboratory, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Department of Social Medicine and Public Health, Medical University, Warsaw, Poland
Cosmetology and Aesthetic Medicine Unit, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Corresponding author
Magdalena Bogdan   

Department of Social Medicine and Public Health, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2020;27(3):401-406
When faced with a chronic disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, the patient attempts to cope with the stressful situation by applying coping strategies. The main aim of rheumatoid treatment is not only improving health but also increasing the quality of life. The research objective was to determine the relationship among socio demographic factors, duration of the disease and its associated ailments, attitude to the disease, self-assessment of one’s knowledge of RA, and the application of coping strategies in stressful situations by women with rheumatoid arthritis. The study involved 193 patients of the Clinic of Rheumatology and Systemic Connective Tissue Diseases, and the Rheumatology Unit of the Specialist Outpatient Clinic of the Independent Public Teaching Hospital No. 4 in Lublin, from November 2016 – June 2017. The Coping Orientations to Problems Experienced Inventory (COPE) Questionnaire and an author’s Original Questionnaire were used in the study. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey’s range test were applied for statistical analysis. A p-value<0.05 defined the statistical differences. Analysis was performed using the commercial SPSS Statistics 19 software (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY, USA). The respondents usually use instrumental social support (11.5±1.7), focus on and vent emotions (11.4±1.9), use emotional social support (11.4±1.8), employ active coping (11.4±2.1) and positive reinterpretation and growth (11.2±1.8), and least often rely on their sense of humour (5.5±1.4) or use alcohol or drugs (5±1.1). The factors which determine the types of strategy used are age, education, the duration of the disease, ailments experienced, and attitude towards the disease. Those respondents who declared a greater knowledge of RA more often applied positive reinterpretation and growth, and more rarely used alcohol or drugs. In the treatment and rehabilitation processes it is important to reinforce in the patient positive expectations for the treatment, seek advantages and benefits in one’s present health status, and educate patients about the disease, its therapy and appropriate coping strategies.
Aletaha D, Neogi T, Silman A J, et al. References 2010 Rheumatoid arthritis classification criteria: An American College of Rheumatology/ European League Against Rheumatism collaborative initiative. Arthritis Rheum. 2010; 62(9): 2569–2581.
Wolfe F. The natural history of rheumatoid arthritis. J Rheumatol Suppl. 1996; 44: 13–22.
Isomaki H. Long-term outcome of rheumatoid arthritis. Scand J Rheumatol Suppl. 1992; 95: 3–8.
Newth S, Delongis A. Individual differences, mood, and coping with chronic pain in rheumatoid arthritis: a daily process analysis. Psychol Health 2004; 19: 283–305.
Pincus T, Griffith J, Pearce S, et al. Prevalence of selfreported depression in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Br J Rheumatol. 1996; 35: 879– 883.
Poh LW, He HG, Chan WCS, et al. Experiences of Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Qualitative Study. Clin Nurs Res. 2017; 26(3): 373–380.
Lazarus RS, Folkman S. Stress, appraisal and coping. Springer, New York; 1984.
Lazarus R. Coping theory and research: past, present and future. Psychosom Med. 1993; 55: 234–247.
Folkman S, Lazarus RS. If it changes it must be aprocess: Study of emotion and coping during three stages of a college examination. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1985; 48: 150–170.
Günther V, Mur E, Kurz M, et al. Stable pattern of stress coping in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 1994; 12: 35–43.
Van Middendorp H, Geenen R, Sorbi MJ, et al Emotion regulation predicts change of perceived health in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2005; 64: 1071–1074.
Carver C S, Scheier M F, Weintraub J K. Assesing coping strategies: A theoretically based approach. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1989; 56: 267–283.
Watson MJ, Logan HL, Tomar SL. The influence of active coping and perceived stress on health disparities in a multi-ethnic low income sample. BMC Public Health 2008; 8: 41.
Krohne HW. Vigilance and cognitive avoidance as concepts in coping research. In: Krohne HW, editor. Attention and avoidance: Strategies in coping with aversiveness. Seattle (WA): Hogrefe & Huber Publishers: 1993: 19–50.
Berner C, Erlacher L, Fenzl KH, Dorner TE. Medication Adherence and Coping Strategies in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: A CrossSectional Study. Int J Rheumatol. 2019: 1–8.
Suominen S, Helenius H, Blomberg H, at al. Sense of coherence as a predictor of subjective state of health, results of 4 years of follow-up of adults. J Psychosom Res. 2001; 50: 77–86.
Kim H S, Yeom H A, Seo Y S, at al. Stress and coping strategies of patientswith cancer. Cancer Nurs. 2002; 25(6): 425–31.
Vitaliano PP Russo J, Young HM, et al. Predictors of burden in spouse caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Psychol Aging. 1991; 6: 392–402.
Haley WE, Roth DL, Coleton MI, at al. Appraisal, coping, and social support as mediators of well-being in black and white family caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1996; 64: 121–129.
Almberg B, Grafström M, Winblad B. Major strain and coping strategies as reported by family members who care for aged demented relatives. J Adv Nurs. 1997; 26 (4): 683–91.
Kneebone I, Martin P.R Coping and caregivers of people with dementia. Br J Health Psychol. 2003; 8: 1–17.
Holahan CJ, Moos RH. Risk, resistance, and psychological distress: A longitudinal analysis with adults and children. J Abnorm Psychol. 1987; 96 (1): 3–13.
Hamarat E, Thompson D, Zabrucky KM, at al. Perceived Stress and Coping Resource Availability as Predictors of Life Satisfaction in Young, Middle-Aged, and Older Adults. Exp Aging Res. 2001; 27: 181–196.
McCracken L, Vowles K, Eccleston Ch. Acceptance of chronic pain: component analysis and a revised assessment method. Pain 2004; 107: 159–166.
Brown GK, Nicassio PM. Development of a questionnaire for the assessment of active and passive coping strategies in chronic pain patients. Pain 1987; 31: 53–64.
Fournier M, De Ridder D, Bensing J. Optimism and adaptation to chronic disease: The role of optimism in relation to self-care options of type 1 diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Br J Health Psychol. 2002; 7: 409–432.
Affleck G, Pfeiffer C, Tennen H, et al. Attributional processes in rheumatoid arthritis patients. Arthritis Rheum. 1987; 30: 927–931.
Kerns RD, Rosenberg R, Jacob MC. Anger expression and chronic pain. J Behav Med. 1994; 17: 57–67.
Watkins KW, Shifren K, Park DC, et al. Age, pain, and coping with rheumatoid arthritis. Pain 1999; 82: 217–228.
Ramirez-Maestre C, Esteve R, Lopez A. Cognitive appraisal andcoping in chronic pain patients. Eur J Pain 2008; 12: 749–756.
Parker JC, Smarr KL, Hewett JE, et al. Health status, cognitive coping, and depressive symptoms: testing for a mediator effect. J Rheum. 2005; 32: 1584–1588.
Iltchev P, Śliwczyński A, Czeleko T et al. Epidemiology of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in rural and urban areas of Poland – 2008–2012. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2016; 23(2): 350–356.
Treharne GJ, Lyons AC, Booth DA et al. Psychological well-being across 1 year with rheumatoid arthritis: coping resources as buffers of percived stress. B J Health Psychol. 2007; 12(3): 323–345.
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top