Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis: the patient's perspective

J Health Psychol. 2009 Sep;14(6):820-30. doi: 10.1177/1359105309341394.


Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a potentially debilitating chronic condition that necessitates a biopsychosocial approach for successful long-term management. However, the psychosocial consequences of AS are not well understood. In this study patients (N = 68) reported impacts of AS across a wide range of life domains; negative impacts included physical effects of AS, changes in mood or personality, effects on social life and relationships with friends and family, low self-esteem, stigma and worry about the future; positive impacts included increased exercise, feelings of achievement and empathy, stronger relationships, slower pace of life and a more positive perspective. Implications for treatment are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patients / psychology*
  • Self Disclosure*
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / psychology*
  • United Kingdom
  • Young Adult