Impact of low back pain on functional limitations, depressed mood and quality of life in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Pain. 2007 Jan;127(1-2):103-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2006.08.011. Epub 2006 Sep 18.


Low back pain (LBP) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are common orthopedic problems, but there is little information on the importance of LBP in RA patients. The aim of this study was to investigate how LBP affects functional limitations, depressed mood, and quality of life in patients with RA. A complex questionnaire was answered by 281 RA patients, including questions about their RA and their experience of LBP. Functional limitations were assessed using the Hannover Activities of Daily Living questionnaire (ADL), depressed mood using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and health-related quality of life using the Short Form 12 health questionnaire (SF-12). The prevalence of LBP in RA patients was 53.4%. RA patients with LBP displayed a significantly higher degree of disability and depression than RA patients without LBP. There were no differences between the two groups with regard to the duration of RA, the number of operations or medication. LBP is an important factor for the physical and psychological behavior of RA patients. Therefore, the onset of LBP should not be overlooked or underestimated.

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / epidemiology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / epidemiology*
  • Low Back Pain / psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sickness Impact Profile*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires