ATLANTA (May 17, 2022) — Today the Arthritis Foundation released new findings from patient-reported data that show a significant connection between a patient feeling emotionally supported and their arthritis symptoms. Analysis completed by the Center for Program Design and Evaluation (CPDE) at Dartmouth College using data from nearly 27,000 patient responses (collected from 2019 to 2022) to the Arthritis Foundation’s ongoing Live Yes! INSIGHTS study reveals:
What this means for the nearly 60 million Americans diagnosed with arthritis
The pervasiveness of arthritis pain has been known to impact a patient’s mental health, with 58% of adults with arthritis experiencing depressive symptoms that are outside of the general population norm1. These latest data points indicate a link between the value of connection and a patient’s pain — giving hope to arthritis patients of all ages and walks of life, said Steven Taylor, President and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation.
Talking with others can help
New data reveals that arthritis patients who have someone to connect with or talk to are twice as likely to experience higher levels of physical functioning. #ArthritisAwarenessMonth #Together4MH Tweet
“There’s long been a stigma associated with asking for help — and we hope to combat that by educating people about these new findings,” said Taylor. “We want patients to know that support is out there, whether it’s through the Arthritis Foundation or simply finding someone to talk to about what they’re going through. It can really make a difference.”
Understanding the difference between mental health and emotional wellbeing
Dr. Natalie Dattilo, clinical health psychologist at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, said one way to fight that stigma is to understand that mental health is not just defined as the absence of a psychological diagnosis — it’s about maintaining a state of wellbeing.
“When we take note of all of the factors that can impose on our physical and emotional health, we can take steps to better manage our responses to stress,” said Dattilo, who is also co-chair of the Arthritis Foundation’s Integrative & Mental Health Expert Panel. “After these past two-plus years where so many felt isolated, it’s important to know the value of what connecting with others can mean for our wellbeing.”
The Arthritis Foundation recommends steps you can take to manage your mental health with arthritis
More resources are available at arthritis.org.
About the Arthritis Foundation:
The Arthritis Foundation is fighting for all people who live with arthritis. As a Champion of Yes, it's the Arthritis Foundation's mission to turn the obstacles arthritis causes into opportunities. The Arthritis Foundation champions life-changing solutions and medical advancements, and it also provides ways for people to connect, break down barriers in health care and join the fight for a cure — uniting hearts, minds and resources to change the future of arthritis. To join the fight to cure arthritis, visit arthritis.org.
1 Arthritis Foundation. May 2021 INSIGHTS Report | How It Hurts. Available at: www.arthritis.org/liveyes/insights/how-it-hurts