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vol. 50
Original paper

Evaluation of the quality of life of patients with rheumatoid arthritis depending on the used therapy

Izabela Wysocka-Skurska
Matylda Sierakowska
Stanisław Sierakowski

Reumatologia 2012; 50, 1: 16–23
Online publish date: 2012/03/02
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Introduction: Limitations to the functional efficiency in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) influence various aspects of the patients’ lives, such as professional career, leisure time, relationships in the family and ability to fulfil patients’ needs. The progressive course of the disease, systemic complications, and feelings of anxiety and depression result in lowering the level of health and quality of life.

Aim of the study: The aim of this work is to evaluate the quality of life of patients with RA in terms of their physical, mental and social functioning, undergoing various pharmacological therapies.

Material and methods: The study included 100 patients with RA. Patients were divided into two groups: group I comprised patients treated with DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs), group II comprised patients treated with biological medicines. The method of research was a diagnostic survey using a visual analogue scale (VAS) (0–100), disability scale (HAQ) (0–3), anxiety and depression scale (HADS-A and HADS-D) (0–21) and health survey SF-36 (0–100).

Results: The majority of patients in groups I and II (some 57 point) feel moderate pain (Table II). Pain significantly affects physical function in patients in group II (r = –0.40; p < 0.05) (Table IV). Duration of illness significantly affects the perception of pain and anxiety and depression in both groups (Table V). SF-36 scale analysis indicates that the average physical functioning score (PCS) in group I is 35.3 ±13.8, whereas in group II it is 39.3 ±15.1 (Table I). In a high percentage of respondents (50%) in group II it was found that their medical condition was almost the same as before the year (Fig. 1).

Conclusions: Psychological problems significantly influence the Evaluation of the quality of life (PCS and MCS) in patients in group I (Fig. 2). Anxiety and depressive disorders in patients in group II influence mental functioning (MCS) more (Table III). Increasing disability deficit in everyday activities (HAQ) results in decreasing PCS evaluation in groups I and II. Disability increases the risk of anxiety and depressive disorders and lowers MCS, especially in group I (Fig. 3).

quality of life, pain, disability, emotions, therapy approaches

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