Arthritis & Rheumatism, Volume 62,
November 2010 Abstract Supplement

Abstracts of the American College of
Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals
Annual Scientific Meeting
Atlanta, Georgia November 6-11, 2010.

The Effect of Social Support from Physicians and Partners on the Health-Related Quality of Life of Vasculitis Patients in Relapse and Remission.

Carpenter2,  Delesha M., Kadis2,  Jessica A., DeVellis2,  Robert F., Hogan3,  Susan L., Jordan1,  Joanne M.

Chapel Hill, NC
UNC, Chapel Hill, NC


Although social support has been shown to positively impact the physical and mental health of chronic disease patients, few studies have explored whether the benefits of support vary by level of disease activity.


Our goal was to determine whether the disease status (relapse vs. remission) of vasculitis patients moderated the effect of physicians' and partners' social support on patients' health-related quality of life (HRQOL).


Vasculitis patients (n=228) completed two online surveys. The baseline survey assessed demographic information, self-reported disease status (relapse vs. remission), and social support from physicians and partners. The 3-month follow-up survey measured 8 dimensions of HRQOL (SF-36): physical functioning (PF), physical role limitations (RP), bodily pain (BP), general health (GH), vitality (VT), social functioning (SF), emotional role limitations (RE), and mental health (MH). Higher scores indicate better HRQOL. We compared the HRQOL of patients in relapse and remission. We also determined whether disease status moderated the effect of physician support and partner support on patient HRQOL; Wilks' L indicated whether the physician support-by-disease-status and partner support-by-disease-status interaction terms were significant.


Relapsing patients reported significantly worse health when compared with non-relapsing patients for 7 of 8 HRQOL dimensions: physical functioning, bodily pain, general health, vitality, social functioning, emotional role limitations, and mental health (Figure 1). Disease status did not moderate the effect of physician (Wilks' L=0.49, p=.86) or partner social support (Wilks' L=1.49, p=.16) on HRQOL. However, social support from both physicians and partners was associated with better HRQOL. Specifically, physician support predicted better HRQOL for 6 of 8 dimensions (all except for except bodily pain and vitality). Partner support predicted fewer physical and emotional role limitations and better social functioning.


Vasculitis patients experience compromised HRQOL when compared with U.S. population norms, but the magnitude of the compromise is greater for patients experiencing a relapse. Social support from physicians and partners is beneficial for patient HRQOL regardless of where the patient is in the relapse/remission cycle.

To cite this abstract, please use the following information:
Carpenter, Delesha M., Kadis, Jessica A., DeVellis, Robert F., Hogan, Susan L., Jordan, Joanne M.; The Effect of Social Support from Physicians and Partners on the Health-Related Quality of Life of Vasculitis Patients in Relapse and Remission. [abstract]. Arthritis Rheum 2010;62 Suppl 10 :1326
DOI: 10.1002/art.29092

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