This article provides an overview of the emerging literature on biopsychosocial assessment and treatment for two of the most common forms of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The article is divided into 3 parts. In the 1st part, the basic elements of the biopsychosocial approach to assessing and treating persons having arthritis is described. In the 2nd part, the authors evaluate studies of biopsycho-social approaches to the assessment of arthritis pain and disability. Six research areas are reviewed: learned helplessness, depression, stress, pain coping, self-efficacy, and the social context of arthritis. The 3rd part of the article reviews studies that testing the efficacy of biopsychosocial treatment approaches for persons having osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
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