Functional status and quality of life in patients with early and established rheumatoid arthritis

Authors: A. Čalfová 1;  Ž. Macejová 2;  I. Lazúrová 1
Authors‘ workplace: I. Interná klinika LF UPJŠ a UN LP, Košice, Slovensko 1;  III. Interná klinika LF UPJŠ a UN LP, Košice, Slovensko 2
Published in: Čes. Revmatol., 19, 2011, No. 4, p. 164-168.
Category: Original Papers


Recently a special methodological approach has been developed in order to assess individual’s state on the scale wellness – illness, based on the concept of quality of life. In relation to the medical context the term Health Related Quality of Life has been well established. This study has applied the Health Related Quality of Life approach on the population of rheumatoid arthritis patients.

To explore and evaluate the Health Related Quality of Life in rheumatoid arthritis patients, with a special attention to the relationship of Health Related Quality of Life with functional status and disease activity in two separate rheumatoid arthritis groups with early and established form of rheumatoid arthritis respectively.

Patients and methods:
The study sample consisted of 102 early rheumatoid arthritis patients (mean disease duration 2,3 ± 1,3 years, 75% women, mean age 53,7 ± 12,4 years) and 130 established rheumatoid arthritis patients (mean disease duration 16,2 ± 4,2 years, 85% women, mean age 58,7 ± 9,9 years). All patients underwent a routine rheumatological examination including tenderness and swollen joint count and laboratory tests according to which disease activity DAS 28 was assessed. Functional status was assessed in every patient by Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index and quality of life was measured using Short Form 36-item Health Status Questionnaire.

Our analyses have generally shown that patients with established rheumatoid arthritis demonstrated worse functional status (1,39 ± 0,70) in comparison with recent rheumatoid arthritis patients (1,20 ± 0,75). However, no differences in individual Health Related Quality of Life domains were detected between these groups.

Thus in spite of the functional deterioration during the progression of the disease in the long term this progression does not necessarily cause deterioration in subjective evaluation of health among rheumatoid arthritis patients. However, further longitudinal studies are required to confirm this finding.

Key words:
rheumatoid arthritis, functional disability, disease activity, quality of life, Health Related Quality of Life, HAQ-DI, RAND SF-36


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Dermatology & STDs Paediatric rheumatology Rheumatology
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