Results indicate that factors causing poor sleep quality in women are the length of time since RA diagnosis, RA disease activity, level of pain, depression symptoms and adherence to medications for RA.

The lead author Faith Luyster, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh, Pa., noted that according to findings further research is needed concerning poor RA medication adherence and sleep quality.

Treating depression in women with RA may not only improve sleep but may also improve pain and adherence to medications, said Luyster.

The study involved 133 women with RA; their average age was 56 years, and they were primarily Caucasian, married, had at least a high school education, were not depressed and had RA for 14.76 years. A majority of participants (71 percent) reported poor sleep quality. Pain and depression were measured through subjective reports, and medication adherence was measured objectively with an electronic medication monitor on medication bottle caps.