The moderating role of helplessness in Rheumatoid Arthritis, a chronic disease

Pamela Naidoo1, Tyrone B. Pretorius1
1University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Cite this article:  Naidoo, P., & Pretorius, T. (2006). The moderating role of helplessness in Rheumatoid Arthritis, a chronic disease. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 34, 103-112.

Volume 34 Issue 2 | e1461 | Published: March 2006 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2006.34.2.103

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The role of psychosocial factors that contribute to the maintenance of health has been conceptualized in terms of a health-sustaining function (or direct-effects hypothesis), as well as a stress-reducing function (or moderating hypothesis). This study is concerned with the stress-reducing function of helplessness on Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) health outcome. In a sample of 186 adult hospital RA patients of low socioeconomic status, helplessness measured by the Arthritis Helplessness Index (AHI; Nicassio, Wallston, Callahan, Herbert, and Pincus, 1985), was found to moderate the relationship between the following: swollen joint count and depression, number of tender joints and functional ability, tender joint count and pain experience, and tender joint count and perceived disability.

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