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Rheumatic diseases are one of the most common types of chronic conditions that affect cognitive functions.To develop and verify a hypothetical model of causal relationships between modifiable risk factors for cognitive impairment, cognitive function, self-management, and quality of life in patients with rheumatic diseases.A hypothetical model was developed on the basis of empirical evidence. The fitness of the model was verified on 210 patients with rheumatic diseases.The prevalence of cognitive impairment was 49.0%. Smoking, underlying diseases, pain, and fatigue had a significant direct effect on cognitive impairment. Only cognitive impairment had a significant direct effect on self-management. Fatigue, anxiety, depression, and cognitive function had a significant direct effect on quality of life.The importance of proper management of symptoms and health habits should be emphasized to prevent and delay the progression of cognitive impairment and improve adherence to self-management regimens and quality of life.