OBJECTIVE: Participation in society of persons with chronic diseases receives increasing attention. However, little is known which components of participation are most relevant to life satisfaction. This study examines the association between several aspects of social role participation and satisfaction with life (SWL) in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) compared to population controls.
METHODS: In a cross-sectional study, participants completed the Social Role Participation Questionnaire (SRPQ) and SWL scale. The SRPQ assesses several dimensions of participation (importance, satisfaction with performance, satisfaction with time and physical difficulty) in 11 roles representing three domains (interpersonal relations, leisure and work). For individuals with AS and controls, the association between role-domains and SWL were examined using linear regression for each participation dimension separately, in the total and the employed population, adjusting for age, gender, education and income.
RESULTS: 246 AS patients (age: 51±12 years; 62% males; disease duration: 17±12 years) and 510 controls (age: 42±15 years; 70% males) were included. Patients were more frequently (extremely) dissatisfied with life (17.9% vs 8.6%; p<0.05). In the total and the employed population, less physical difficulty and higher satisfaction with interpersonal relations and leisure were associated with higher SWL and this was somewhat stronger in patients than in controls (p<0.1). In employed controls but not in employed patients, satisfaction with work was independently associated with SWL. Conclusion These findings highlight the importance to support persons with AS in ameliorating social role participation, particularly in areas like close relationships and leisure activities, which are typically ignored in treating AS. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.