The impact of disease severity, illness beliefs and coping strategies on outcomes in psoriatic arthritis

Laura Howells, Anna Chisholm, Sarah Cotterill, Hector Chinoy, Richard B Warren, Christine Bundy

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OBJECTIVES: Little is known about how people with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) cope and manage their condition, but data show psychological problems are under-recognised and under-treated. The Common Sense - Self-Regulatory Model (CS-SRM) suggests illness beliefs, mediated by coping, may influence health outcomes. The study aimed to investigate the roles of disease severity, illness beliefs and coping strategies in predicting depression, anxiety and QoL in people with PsA. Additionally, we aimed to assess the role of depression and anxiety in predicting QoL.

METHODS: A cross-sectional observational study where adults with PsA (N = 179) completed validated measures of predictor (illness beliefs, coping strategies, disease severity) and outcome variables (depression, anxiety, QoL) using an online survey distributed via social media.

RESULTS: The participants were a community sample of 179 adults with PsA aged 20 to 72 (77.1% female). After controlling for disease severity, hierarchical multiple regression models indicated that more negative beliefs about consequences and behavioural disengagement as a coping method predicted levels of depression and self-blame predicted anxiety. Beliefs about consequences and the presence of depression predicted quality of life scores after controlling for disease severity.

CONCLUSIONS: This study offers support for the use of the CS-SRM in explaining variation on psychological outcomes in individuals with PsA. The illness beliefs and coping strategies identified as predictors in this paper are potential targets for interventions addressing PsA-related distress and QoL. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-302
JournalArthritis Care and Research
Issue number2
Early online date3 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • Quality of life
  • coping
  • disease severity


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