Positive affect as a factor of resilience in the pain-negative affect relationship in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

J Psychosom Res. 2006 May;60(5):477-84. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2005.08.010.


Objective: The purpose of this study is to examine positive affect (PA) as a factor of resilience in the relationships between pain and negative affect (NA) in a sample of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Methods: Forty-three patients (30 women; mean age, 57 years) were interviewed weekly by telephone for 8 weeks. Multilevel modeling was applied to study the within-week relationships among the variables.

Results: There was a Pain x PA interaction effect on NA (beta=-0.05, P<.01) indicating a weaker relationship between pain and NA in weeks with more PA. Pain (beta=0.37, P<.002), interpersonal stress (beta=2.42, P<.001), depression (beta=0.26, P<.01), average perceived stress (beta=10.80, P<.001), and also weekly PA (beta=-0.1, P<.01) had a main effect upon NA.

Conclusion: Positive affect is most influential in reducing NA during weeks of higher pain and may be a factor of resilience, helping patients experiencing pain fluctuations as less distressful than at lower levels of PA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / epidemiology*
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Pain / epidemiology*
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires