Mehmet Engin TEZCAN1, Berfu CİNKİT DOĞAN2, Nesrin ŞEN1, Mehmet SARGIN2

1Department of Rheumatology, Kartal Dr. Lütfi Kırdar Training and Research Hospital, İstanbul, Turkey
2Department of Family Medicine and Diabetes, Kartal Dr. Lütfi Kırdar Training and Research Hospital, İstanbul, Turkey

Keywords: Disease activity; fear-avoidance beliefs; fibromyalgia; osteoarthritis; rheumatoid arthritis


Objectives: This study aims to compare fear-avoidance (FA) beliefs of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of hand patients and fibromyalgia (FM) patients and evaluate its relationship with RA activity and duration.
Patients and methods: The study included 206 patients with RA (34 males, 172 females; mean age 49 years; range 20 to 72 years), 57 patients with FM (57 females; mean age 48 years; range 20 to 71 years), and 50 patients with OA of hand (4 males, 46 females; mean age 43 years; range 43 to 77 years). FA beliefs were assessed with modified Fear-Avoidance Belief Questionnaire (mFABQ). RA patients were dichotomized according to disease activity and disease duration separately; cutoff values were disease activity score 28 of 3.2 and six months of disease activity, respectively.
Results: Modified Fear-Avoidance Belief Questionnaire scores were similar in patients with RA, OA of hand, and FM. RA patients in non-remission group had higher mFABQ scores. Moreover, mFABQ scores were similar in RA patients with early and established disease groups.
Conclusion: Fear-avoidance beliefs of patients with RA were similar with OA of hand patients and FM patients. However, higher disease activity in RA was related with escalated FA beliefs. Further studies focusing on pathophysiology of FA beliefs in patients with RA are warranted for effective pain management of RA.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.

Financial Disclosure

The authors received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.