Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a complex autoimmune disease that affects 1 to 2 percent of adults, requires patients to not only cope with pain, disability and joint disfigurements, but also other stressors such as disrupted work, family life and marital functioning. While many pharmacological advances help some RA patients, residual pain and disability is common. In addition, some patients avoid newer medications due to their high cost or side effects. Because of this, there is interest in psychosocial interventions for RA such as cognitive-behavioral and emotional processing approaches.

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