Measuring the positive psychological well-being of people with rheumatoid arthritis: a cross-sectional validation of the subjective vitality scale

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Colleges, School and Institutes


INTRODUCTION: People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) frequently suffer from compromised physical and psychological health, however, little is known about positive indicators of health, due to a lack of validated outcome measures. This study aims to validate a clinically relevant outcome measure of positive psychological well-being for people with RA. The first study examined the reliability and factorial validity of the Subjective Vitality Scale (SVS), whilst study 2 tested the instruments convergent validity. METHODS: In study 1, National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society members (N = 333; M age = 59.82 years SD = 11.00) completed a postal questionnaire. For study 2, participants (N = 106; M age = 56 years, SD = 12 years) were those recruited to a randomized control trial comparing two physical activity interventions who completed a range of health-related questionnaires. RESULTS: The SVS had a high level of internal consistency (α = .93, Rho = .92). Confirmatory factor analysis supported the uni-dimensional factor structure of the questionnaire among RA patients [χ = 1327 (10), CFI = 1.0, SRMSR = .01 and RMSEA = .00 (.00 - .08)]. Support for the scales convergent validity was revealed by significant (p < .05) relationships, in expected directions, with health related quality of life (r = .59), physical function (r = .58), feelings of fatigue (r = -.70), anxiety (r = -.57) and depression (r = -.73). CONCLUSIONS: Results from two studies have provided support for the internal consistency, factorial structure and convergent validity of the Subjective Vitality Scale. Researchers and healthcare providers may employ this clinically relevant, freely available and brief assessment with the confidence that it is a valid and reliable measure of positive psychological well-being for RA patients.


Original languageEnglish
Article number312
JournalArthritis Research & Therapy
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2015


  • Rheumatoid arthritis, psychological well-being, Subjective vitality, outcome measure