Men, rheumatoid arthritis, psychosocial impact and self-management: A narrative review

J Health Psychol. 2016 Oct;21(10):2168-82. doi: 10.1177/1359105315572452. Epub 2015 Mar 9.


Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease affecting fewer men than women. We systematically reviewed the literature on impact and self-management of rheumatoid arthritis in men. A total of 28 papers were included and grouped into two categories: psychosocial impact of rheumatoid arthritis, and coping and self-management. This review finds gender differences relating to quality of life, work, distress, self-management, coping and support. We conclude that there is a dearth of literature focussing on rheumatoid arthritis in men only, and mixed gender studies include insufficient men to draw strong conclusions about men. Thus, further research is needed to understand the support needs of men with rheumatoid arthritis in depth.

Keywords: arthritis; chronic illness; coping; gender; health behaviour; health psychology; males; men’s health; psychological distress; social support.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / psychology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Men's Health*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Self-Management*