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ISSN: 0034-6233
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vol. 55
Original paper

Fatigue and sleep quality in rheumatoid arthritis patients during hospital admission

Paulina Szady
Grażyna Bączyk
Katarzyna Kozłowska

Reumatologia 2017; 55, 2: 65–72
Online publish date: 2017/04/28
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Objectives: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic disease of connective tissue characterised by chronic course with periods of exacerbation and remission. Even in the early stages of the disease patients report the occurrence of fatigue and sleep disorders. Reduced sleep quality and chronic fatigue are common among patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The aim of the research was to evaluate the severity of fatigue and sleep quality assessment among patients hospitalised with rheumatoid arthritis and to determine the relation between the level of symptoms of fatigue and sleep quality and variables such as: age, gender, disease duration, marital status, applied pharmacological treatment, and pain intensity.

Materials and methods: The study involved 38 patients (12 men and 26 women) hospitalised in the Rheumatologic Ward of the Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Hospital of the University of Medical Sciences. The average age of the entire group was 56.26 years. Fatigue was evaluated with use of Polish version of Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue (FACIT-F), while in order to evaluate sleep quality within the examined group of patients the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was used.

Results: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis in the analysed group have lower sleep quality, and within subjects with such a diagnosis the fatigue is present. The relation was found between fatigue and such variables as: age, illness duration, marital status, applied pharmacological treatment, and severity of pain. Sleep quality within patients with RA is correlated by such variables as: age, gender, applied pharmaceutical treatment, and severity of pain. It was identified that patients with lower sleep quality experience increased levels of fatigue.

Conclusions: There is a need to clarify which factors determine the level of fatigue and sleep quality in patients suffering from RA in future population-based research and to indicate to doctors, nurses, psychologists, and physiotherapists the significance and importance of the problem, which requires specialised and holistic care.

rheumatoid arthritis, fatigue, sleep quality

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