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Paediatric Rheumatology


A longitudinal follow-up study of physical and psychosocial health in young adults with juvenile idiopathic arthritis

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2009 Vol.27, N°6
PI 1039, PF 1046
Paediatric Rheumatology

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PMID: 20149328 [PubMed]

Received: 26/01/2009
Accepted : 21/05/2009
In Press: 06/04/2010
Published: 02/03/2010


The aim was to describe physical and psychosocial health status in a second follow-up of a cohort of patients with chronic childhood arthritis, to compare results from the present study with the first follow-up, and to explore the course of physical and psychosocial functioning from baseline.
At a median of 18.3 years after symptom onset 55 patients answered the self-administered questionnaires Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ-DI), Visual Analogue Scales (VAS) of pain, fatigue and illness, and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) 30-item version. Results from the current study were compared to first follow-up median 8.7 years after symptom onset, and the course of physical and psychosocial function from baseline was discussed.
At second follow-up, 38% reported HAQ-DI above 0 indicating physical disability, 22% had a GHQ-30 score in the clinical range indicating psychiatric distress, and fatigue seemed to be an overarching aspect of the health status. Pain was an important correlate of physical disability at first and second follow-up. At second follow-up psychiatric distress was a significant correlate of pain and fatigue, indicating a relation to disease severity. The association between psychosocial functioning and chronic family difficulties observed at first follow-up is not evident at second follow-up.
The favourable physical and psychosocial outcome reported at first follow-up seems to persist. However, arthritis-related ill-health is still evident in a considerable proportion of the patients, indicating a constant impact of the disease on every-day life of the individual.

Rheumatology Article