This article examines the role of positive events in older women's adaptation to rheumatoid arthritis. In one study, women with rheumatoid arthritis were compared with healthy older women. The women with rheumatoid arthritis showed a less-active pattern of social engagement than the healthy women, and less-stable patterns over time. In a second study, women with rheumatoid arthritis participated in an intervention designed to enhance active patterns of social engagement. The intervention succeeded in increasing positive social-engagement patterns. Improvements in quality of life and reduction in disease activity coincided with these changes. Most improvements in well-being did not last, but the women's beliefs in their capacity to cope with their illness were enhanced, and those beliefs remained significantly higher than levels before the intervention.
- Positive events
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