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Factors Associated With Distress Related to Perceived Dignity in Patients With Rheumatic Diseases.

BACKGROUND: The loss of perceived dignity is an existential source of human suffering, described in patients with cancer and chronic diseases and hospitalized patients but rarely explored among patients with rheumatic diseases (RMDs). We recently observed that distress related to perceived dignity (DPD) was present in 26.9% of Mexican patients with different RMDs. The study aimed to investigate the factors associated with DPD.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study was performed between February and September 2022. Consecutive patients with RMDs completed patient-reported outcomes (to assess mental health, disease activity/severity, disability, fatigue, quality of life [QoL], satisfaction with medical care, and family function) and had a rheumatic evaluation to assess disease activity status and comorbidity. Sociodemographic variables and disease-related and treatment-related variables were retrieved with standardized formats. DPD was defined based on the Patient Dignity Inventory score. Multivariate regression analysis was used.

RESULTS: Four hundred patients were included and were representative of outpatients with RMDs, while 7.5% each were inpatients and patients from the emergency care unit. There were 107 patients (26.8%) with DPD. Past mental health-related comorbidity (Odds Ratio [OR]: 4.680 [95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 1.906-11.491]), the number of immunosuppressive drugs/patient (OR: 1.683 [95% CI: 1.015-2.791]), the physical health dimension score of the World Health Organization Quality of Life-Brief questionnaire (WHOQOL-BREF) (OR: 0.937 [95% CI: 0.907-0.967]), and the emotional health dimension score of the WHOQOL-BREF (OR: 0.895 [95% CI: 0.863-0.928]) were associated with DPD.

CONCLUSIONS: DPD was present in a substantial proportion of patients with RMDs and was associated with mental health-related comorbidity, disease activity/severity-related variables, and the patient QoL.

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