Dr Tooba Qaiser, Dr Shafaq Mussadiq, Dr Haider Iftikhar
Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a life-long disease with progressive disability, and people with RA experience higher levels of mental stress than the general population. Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in RA patients and to determine its relationship to disease activity. Place and Duration: In the Rheumatology department of Jinnah Hospital, Lahore for one-year duration from April 2019 to April 2020. Patients and Methods: The study included 200 cases of RA. Psychiatric examinations of all cases were performed according to the Hamilton scale. Patients suspected of having GAD were further assessed against the latest diagnostic criteria for GAD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) and the Psychiatric Assessment Sheet (PAS). Results: The incidence of GAD in RA was 38.5% (n = 77), as assessed on the basis of the Psychiatric Assessment Chart (PAS). RA patients with GAD showed significantly higher measures of disease activity than patients without GAD (p-value 0.05) or positive RF (r = 0.058; p-value> 0.05). Conclusion: Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is common in cases of RA. Disease activity was significantly higher in RA with GAD than in RA without GAD. GAD was found not to be associated with disease duration. Key words: rheumatoid arthritis, generalized anxiety disorder.