Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disease

Authored by: Anita DeLongis , Drake Levere , Ellen Stephenson

Handbook of Health Psychology

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138052819
eBook ISBN: 9781315167534
Adobe ISBN:


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Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States and other developed countries. Arthritis characteristically involves pain, stiffness, and inflammation in and around one or more joints. Arthritic conditions are often associated with symptoms that can negatively impact daily functioning, particularly fatigue, depression, and other mood disturbances. This chapter addresses key psychosocial factors that have been documented to play a role in the course and treatment of arthritis. The coping strategies that arthritis patients use and the type of support that they receive has been found to dictate health and psychological outcomes. Gender, personality, and age are examples of psychosocial factors that influence how individuals perceive their illness and the ways in which they cope. The chapter highlights individual and cultural differences in the experience and treatment of arthritis. Lastly, the effectiveness of current biological and psychosocial interventions is discussed.

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