A simple model of the psychosocial dimension of rheumatic diseases would suggest a linear relation, in which the extent of disease severity and damage determine the degree of disability, which in turn influence the patient’s psychological wellbeing. This model is not at all supported by research findings, which suggest a much more complex relation between the disease and its outcomes. Besides the disease process also behavioral (for example, avoidance of physical exercise), cognitive (for example, pessimistic thoughts) and emotional (for example, depression or anxiety) processes impact on symptoms such as pain and fatigue. Psychosocial processes may also indirectly impact on disease activity—for instance, as determinants of adherence to pharmacological treatment and of the likelihood of attending the physician in the event of a disease exacerbation. In the lecture, the importance of a multidisciplinary team and psychosocial perspective will be emphasized and demonstrated as well as the need to involve patients in care.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared