• 1 Hospital Melaka, Department of Medicine, Rheumatology Unit, Melaka, Malaysia.
  • 2 Hospital Melaka, Department of Medicine, Rheumatology Unit, Melaka, Malaysia
Med. J. Malaysia, 2018 08;73(4):226-232.
PMID: 30121685 MyJurnal


OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence, correlates and independent predictors of self-reported depression, anxiety and stress in Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients in Hospital Melaka.

METHODS: This was a cross-sectional survey using convenient sampling of 192 RA patients who attended the Rheumatology Clinic outpatient appointment, Hospital Melaka from June 2013 to December 2013. Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS21) questionnaire was used to evaluate symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. RA disease activity was assessed using the DAS28-ESR formula. Functional status was assessed via the Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ-DI).

RESULTS: Out of 189 completed questionnaires, 46%(n=86) patients reported psychological distress symptoms, and 25%(n=48) experienced more than one negative emotional states. The prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress among our patients were 23.3%(n=44), 42.3%(n=80) and 20.1%(n=38) respectively. There were significant positive correlations (p<0.05) between these psychological symptoms with disease activity, number of tender joints, general health, pain and HAQ score. Age was inversely correlated with depression, anxiety and stress. Higher number of swollen joints correlated positively with depression but not with anxiety and stress. HAQ was the only independent predictor for depression (Odds Ratio [OR]=2.07; 95%CI: 1.19 to 3.61) and anxiety (OR=1.81; 95%CI: 1.1 to 3.0) whilst pain was found to be independent predictor for stress (OR=1.04; 95%CI: 1.0 to 1.1).

CONCLUSION: The incidence of depression and anxiety in our Malaysian sample of RA patient was comparable to that observed in Caucasian populations. Functional status was an independent predictor of depression and anxiety, whereas pain was an independent predictor of stress.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.