Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Patient With Rheumatoid Arthritis and Obesity

Natalia Pinho de Oliveira Ribeiro, Alexandre Rafael de Mello Schier, Tamires Marinho, Sergio Machado, Antonio Egidio Nardi, Adriana Cardoso Silva


Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes physical and psychological symptoms when patients are not monitored; these symptoms include depression, anxiety and even the risk of suicide. This study is a case report of one female patient who has Rheumatoid arthritis, and obesity. The present study was carried out with a multidisciplinary approach (physician and psychologist) and included psychological evaluations and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) after a hospital stay when the patient suffered changes in her general framework with a worsening of her disease. The CBT was effective in reducing the patients depression and anxiety. In addition, the CBT reduced the patients dysfunctional beliefs, extinguished the thoughts of suicide and taught her to better control her emotions, which reduced her daily peaks of physical pain, making them more affordable than before. CBT increased the patients motivation, which led to an improvement in her condition and better adherence to treatment. The CBT was effective in treating an obese patient with rheumatoid arthritis who did not want to adhere to the treatment. This suggests that CBT can be an excellent tool for the treatment of chronic and autoimmune diseases; however, further studies are needed with more subjects.

J Med Cases. 2013;4(7):443-446


Rheumatoid arthritis; Cognitive behavioral therapy; Obesity

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