Background Strategies for dealing with chronic pain designed to overcome chronic pain syndrome and adapt patients to their condition.
Objectives To study coping strategies (CS) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with regard to their gender characteristics, to reveal interrelation between CS, DAS 28 and RA duration in female and male patients.
Methods A cross-sectional survey included 82 patients with RA ( male to female ratio 4.5:1 (82% women), mean age 49,1±11,3 years, mean duration of RA disease ranged from 4 months to 41 years (Me 8 (3, 12)). RA diagnosis based on ACR criteria of 1987. Pain was recorded using a visual analog scale (VAS). Chronic Pain Coping Questionnaire was used in determing coping strategies. According with gender, patients were divided into 2 groups. Significance of independent variables differences determined by the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, differences were considered significant at p<0,05. For correlation analysis Spearman method was performed.
Results There were no significant differences in VAS scores between male and female patients. Women were significantly more frequently used coping strategies than men (p<0,05). Both groups preferred maladaptive strategies in case of pain syndrome. Gender differences emerged in the maladaptive strategies “protection” and “relaxation” and adaptive strategy “self-persuasion” (p<0,05). The correlations between adaptive strategy “exercises” and DAS 28 (r=0,55, p=0,03), between duration of the disease and “self-persuasion” strategy (r=0,83, p=0,0001) were revealed on men. In case of female patients such correlations weren't found.
Conclusions Gender preferences in using different types of CS were detected. The findings may be used in individual gender approach in educating patients on how to deal with the chronic pain and decrease its activity.
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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