OBJECTIVE: To assess the internal consistency, reliability, and construct validity of the Rheumatology Attitudes Index (RAI) and its subscales in a cohort of Asian patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). METHODS: English speaking ethnic Chinese, Malay, or Indian patients with SLE (n = 120) seen at a rheumatology unit completed a questionnaire containing the RAI twice within a 2 week period. Lupus activity was assessed using the British Isles Lupus Activity Group (BILAG) score, disease related damage using the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics/American College of Rheumatology (SLICC/ACR) damage index, and quality of life using the Medical Outcome Survey Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36). Factor analysis and Cronbach's alpha were used to study the psychometric properties of the RAI. The magnitude of test-retest differences was assessed using the method of Bland and Altman. Relationships between the RAI, its helplessness (HS) and internality (IS) subscales, and BILAG, SLICC/ACR damage index and SF-36 scores were studied using Spearman's rank correlation. RESULTS: Factor analysis (n = 105) identified 2 factors corresponding to the HS and IS subscales of the RAI. All scales showed acceptable internal consistency, with Cronbach's alpha of 0.64 for the HS, 0.77 for the IS, and 0.74 for the RAI. Mean (SD) test-retest differences were 0.85 (3.96) points for the HS (n = 86), 0.81 (4.44) points for the IS (n = 85), and 1.46 (7.88) points for the RAI (n = 74). Six of 10 hypotheses relating the RAI and HS to demographic, disease, and quality of life variables were confirmed, supporting the construct validity of these scales. CONCLUSION: The RAI and its helplessness subscale are valid and reliable measures of learned helplessness in a multiethnic cohort of Asian patients with SLE in Singapore.