A CPD article enhanced Rose Gallacher’s knowledge of the psychological effects of rheumatoid arthritis
A CPD article enhanced Rose Gallacher’s knowledge of the psychological effects of rheumatoid arthritis.
After reading this article and completing the time out activities, I better understand the complexity of the psychological effects a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis can bring. This may include anxiety, frustration, shock, anger, helplessness, depression, or denial and grief for the loss of health.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a common long-term inflammatory condition that most frequently affects the hands, feet and knees. The cause is unknown, there is no cure, and a familial history of the condition increases the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
A person living with rheumatoid arthritis may be psychologically affected by the experience of having to adapt to an altered body image. Approximately 30% of people reported feeling negative and sexually unattractive because of the physical changes in normal joint functioning caused by pain, stiffness, swelling, deformities, disabilities, clumsiness, heavier limbs and fatigue.
This reflective account is based on NS771 Ryan S (2014) Psychological effects of living with rheumatoid arthritis. Nursing Standard. 29, 13, 52-59.