A Controlled Community Study of Distress and Resilience in Women Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Ada H. Zohar, Maor Yeshua, Sapir Ofek, Yael Yaniv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines psychological and physical influences on the distress and well-being of patients with chronic rheumatic diseases. The study aims were to (1) evaluate the relative contribution of objective disease activity and psychological factors on the wellbeing of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE); (2) to compare the psychological distress of SLE patients to fibromyalgia (FM) patients and healthy controls, and to (3) characterize subgroups of patients by performing cluster analysis using psychological variables. Participants were ascertained from closed forums and social media channels resulting in 41 women with a diagnosis of SLE, 47 with a diagnosis of FM, and 77 healthy controls (HC). Hierarchical linear regression for well-being of SLE patients found that most of the variance was accounted for by social support. Cluster analysis performed on the entire sample identified two clusters, a distressed group tending to Type D personality, anxiety and depression, low in well-being and social support, and a resilient group; the proportion of resilient individuals was highest in the HC intermediate in the SLE group and lowest in the FM group. The importance of psychological variables vs disease severity in these two rheumatic diseases for wellbeing is demonstrated by these results. The results suggest that psychological interventions that enhance the experience of social support in medical settings, might benefit patients with both diseases, and be of particular importance to the well-being of patients who are more distressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-444
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Cluster analysis
  • FM
  • SLE
  • Type D personality
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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