Correlation of DAS 28 Score and Treatment Compliance with Depression and Anxiety in Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Hussain Shakeel
Aflak Rasheed
Muhammad Shiraz Niaz
Shujaat Hassan
Asadullah Nawaz


Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic autoimmune disorder characterized by synovial inflammation, joint destruction, and significant disability. Psychological factors, particularly depression and anxiety, are prevalent among RA patients and can impact disease management and treatment adherence. Understanding the relationship between disease activity, treatment compliance, and mental health is essential for comprehensive RA management.

Objective: To investigate the correlation between Disease Activity Score 28 (DAS28) and treatment compliance with levels of depression and anxiety in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at the Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, Sheikh Zayed Hospital, Lahore, over six months. A total of 130 RA patients were enrolled using non-probability convenience sampling. Inclusion criteria were adults aged 18 years and above, diagnosed with RA based on ACR/EULAR criteria, and compliant with medication for at least three months prior to the study. Exclusion criteria included other autoimmune diseases, significant concurrent medical conditions, history of substance abuse, and recent initiation of biologic treatments. Data collection involved demographic details, RA onset and duration, and assessments of depression and anxiety using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) scales, respectively. RA disease activity was measured using DAS28, and systemic inflammation markers (ESR and CRP) were recorded. Data analysis was performed using SPSS version 25.0, employing descriptive statistics, correlation analysis, and regression analysis to determine the relationships between variables.

Results: The study included 59 males (45.4%) and 71 females (54.6%), with a mean age of 49.69 years (SD = 18.82). The mean duration of RA diagnosis was 14.07 years (SD = 8.69). Higher PHQ-9 scores were associated with lower treatment adherence (B = -1.264, p < 0.001), and higher GAD-7 scores also negatively impacted adherence (B = 0.870, p < 0.01). The regression model explained 40.3% of the variance in treatment adherence (R² = 0.403, F(7, 122) = 11.779, p < 0.001). Weak negative correlations were observed between DAS28 ESR and treatment adherence (r = -0.150), indicating that higher disease activity slightly reduced adherence.

Conclusion: The study highlighted the significant role of mental health in the management of RA. Depression and anxiety were found to be major barriers to treatment adherence, underscoring the need for integrating psychological care into RA management. Addressing mental health issues could enhance treatment adherence and improve overall disease outcomes.

Keywords: Rheumatoid Arthritis, DAS28, Treatment Adherence, Depression, Anxiety, Psychological Factors, Systemic Inflammation, PHQ-9, GAD-7, Chronic Disease Management, SPSS 25.0, Cross-Sectional Study, ACR/EULAR Criteria

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How to Cite
Hussain Shakeel, Aflak Rasheed, Muhammad Shiraz Niaz, Shujaat Hassan, & Asadullah Nawaz. (2024). Correlation of DAS 28 Score and Treatment Compliance with Depression and Anxiety in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Journal of Health and Rehabilitation Research, 4(2), 1221–1227.


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