Background Individualized treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) based on genetic and serologic factors is increasingly accepted. In addition, patients are more actively involved in the management of their disease. However, personality has received little attention with respect to perception of the need and adherence to treatment.
Objectives Our objective was to evaluate the influence of personality on the intensity of RA treatment.
Methods We performed a cross-sectional study in two hospitals with early arthritis clinics where sociodemographic, clinical, and therapeutic variables are systematically recorded. Patients completed Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, Multidimensional Health Locus of Control, Pain-Related Self-Statement Scale and Pain-Related Control Scale. Aggressive treatment was considered if patients received more than two DMARDs or biological agents during the first year of follow-up. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to determine predictors of aggressive treatment.
Results 176 RA patients were included (80% women, disease begin median age 55 years). Treatment was considered aggressive in 57.9% of the sample. Scores were high in extraversion in 50.8% of patients, neuroticism in 29.5%, and psychoticism in 14.7%.Neuroticism was the only factor associated with aggressive treatment, which was less probable (p=0.04, OR =0.40). Neuroticism also decreased the possibility of receiving a combination of biologics and DMARDs (p=0.04, OR =0.28).
Conclusions Patients with high scores on neuroticism are more worried, obsessive and hypochondriac, leading them to reject more aggressive therapy. It is important educate patients about their disease so that they will accept more aggressive approaches in clear cases of poor outcome.
Disclosure of Interest None declared