HAQ scores related to persistent disabilities 8 years efter diagnosis of RA despite reduction of DAS-28.: The Swedish TIRA study
2011 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
Background: Early instituted disease modifying anti rheumatic drugs (DMARD:s) leads to reduced disease activity. Critical levels of disease activity measured with Disease Activity Score 28 joint count (DAS-28) are widely used to identify needs and evaluate outcomes of DMARD:s. Early instituted DMARD:s also reduce disability, but some patients still have disabilities and there is a need to establish clinically useful routines to identify patients with different disabilities, and thereby possible unmet needs for rehabilitation as a complement to their medication.Objectives: To discriminate sub-groups of patients due to HAQ levels and relate these sub-groups to disease activity and more comprehensive aspects of disability.Methods: 132 patients (68% women) with recent-onset (≤1 year) RA who fulfilled ≥4/7 RA classification criteria or at least: morning stiffness ≥60 minutes, symmetrical arthritis, and arthritis of small joints, and included in the Swedish TIRA-1 cohort during 1996-1998, constituted the study group. All patients had access to rehabilitation and regular contact with a multi-professional team, but there were no standardized criteria for further assessments or interventions. Anti-CCP antibodies were analysed. Disease activity (DAS-28), Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), Short Form 36 (SF-36) and ongoing DMARD:s were registered at inclusion and thereafter yearly. In the presented analysis, the study group was divided into a high-HAQ group (score≥1) and a low-HAQ group (score<1) based on the HAQ score at the 8 year follow-up (1).Results: The sub-group of 48 patients (36%) with a HAQ score ≥1 at the 8 year follow-up had a higher mean HAQ score already at inclusion and further on at all visits compared to the low-HAQ group. 32 patients (24%) had high HAQ-score both at inclusion and at Year 8. Also, more comprehensive aspects of disability reported with the 8 dimensions of SF-36 differed significantly between these sub-groups at the majority of the visits. Age and Anti-CCP did not differ between sub-groups while the high-HAQ group had a higher DAS-28 at most visits except at inclusion. In accordance with known sex differences, the majority of the patients in the high-HAQ group were women. Despite higher frequencies of DMARD:s, the HAQ-score in the high-HAQ group showed a persistent divergence in contrast to the improvement in the low-HAQ group, and in contrast to the DAS-28 that showed improvement over time in both groups. Thus, a HAQ score ≥1 at the 8 year follow-up indicated persistent and comprehensive disabilities, and supposed needs for more effective or more specific rehabilitation as a complement to the medication in 36% of the study group.Conclusions: The HAQ-score is clinically useful as a complement to DAS-28, especially to identify patients with unmet needs for further rehabilitation assessments.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Rheumatology and Autoimmunity
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-97503OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-97503DiVA: diva2:648080
EULAR 2011 London, United Kingdom 25-28 May 2011