Psychosocial burden predicts sustained remission in early rheumatoid arthritis: unraveling the complex interplay of wellbeing and disease activity

Michaël Doumen, Diederik De Cock, Sofia Pazmino, Delphine Bertrand, Johan Joly, René Westhovens, Patrick Verschueren

Onderzoeksoutput: Articlepeer review

10 Citaten (Scopus)


Objective: This study investigated how psychosocial aspects of disease affect the probability of achieving sustained remission in early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and explored the directionality of this relationship. Methods: Data were analyzed from the randomized controlled Care in Early RA trial. Sustained remission was defined as a continued Disease Activity Score in 28 joints using the C-reactive protein level (DAS28-CRP) of <2.6 from weeks 16 to 104. Patients completed the Short Form 36 (SF-36) health survey, Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R), and the Utrecht Coping List. These psychosocial variables were studied at baseline and at week 16 as predictors of sustained remission with logistic regression. Next, subgroups of patients in remission at week 16 were identified by Latent Profile Analysis based on these psychosocial indicators. Time to first loss of remission was then compared between groups by Cox proportional hazards regression. Finally, directionality of associations between psychosocial indicators and DAS28-CRP was explored with cross-lagged panel models (CLPMs). Results: Sustained DAS28-CRP remission was associated with higher SF-36 scores and less passive coping at baseline and with higher SF-36 scores and more positive IPQ-R outcomes at week 16. Among patients in DAS28-CRP remission at week 16 (n = 287), 2 subgroups were identified: a low psychosocial burden group (n = 231 of 287) and a high psychosocial burden group (n = 56 of 287). The low psychosocial burden group retained remission longer (hazard ratio 0.51 [0.35–0.73]). In the CLPM, temporal relationships between psychosocial well-being and DAS28-CRP were complex, bidirectional, and disease-phase dependent. Conclusion: Suboptimal psychosocial well-being and negative illness perceptions predicted lower probability of sustained remission in an early RA cohort. Illness perceptions appeared to become more clinically relevant with time. Finally, 1 in 5 patients showed worse psychosocial outcomes despite early remission, and these patients tended to lose remission earlier.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)758-767
Aantal pagina's10
TijdschriftArthritis care & research
Nummer van het tijdschrift4
Vroegere onlinedatum28 nov 2022
StatusPublished - apr 2023

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