Psychological Medicine

Original Article

Aspects of the psychology and epidemiology of rheumatoid disease

Sidney Crowna1 c1, June M. Crowna1 and Anthony Fleminga1

a1 Department of Psychiatry, The London Hospital, Department of Immunology and Rheumatology, The Middlesex Hospital, Medical School, London.


In a prospective study of rheumatoid disease (RD) clinical, serological, radiological, and biochemical factors were assessed on 102 patients and scores obtained on the Middlesex Hospital Questionnaire (MHQ). Patients with early RD had MHQ scores closely resembling those in the normal population. Using a new clinical prognostic index, patients who develop severe RD tended to have low scores at initial testing on the MHQ. Patients whose serum was positive for rheumatoid factor also tended to have low scores on the MHQ. Together these findings suggest a possible subclassification of RD into a less severe form in which psychosocial factors may be important, and a more severe form in which heredity or some other constitutional factor (or factors) may be important, rheumatoid factor acting as a ‘marker’.


c1 Address for correspondence and reprints: Dr. Sidney Crown, the London Hospital, Whitechapel, London El 1BB.