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Hand pains in women and men in early rheumatoid arthritis, a one year follow-up after diagnosis. The Swedish TIRA project
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Heart and Medicine Center, Department of Rheumatology.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Division of Health, Activity and Care. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Heart and Medicine Center, Department of Rheumatology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1607-187X
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Heart and Medicine Center, Department of Rheumatology.
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2016 (English)In: Disability and Rehabilitation, ISSN 0963-8288, E-ISSN 1464-5165, 1-10 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Purpose: This research analysed general pain intensity, hand pain at rest and hand pain during activity in women and men in early rheumatoid arhtritis (RA).

Method: Out of the 454 patients that were recruited into the Swedish early RA project "TIRA" the 373 patients (67% women) that remained at 12 months follow-up are reported here. Disease activity 28 joint score (DAS-28), disability (Health Assessment Questionnaire = HAQ) and pain (VAS) were recorded at inclusion and after 3 (M3), 6 (M6) and 12 (M12) months. General pain, hand pain during rest, hand pain during test of grip force as assessed by Grippit™, prescribed disease-modifying anti-inflammatory drugs (DMARDs) and hand dominance were recorded.

Results: DAS-28 and HAQ scores were high at inclusion and improved thereafter in both women and men. There were no significant differences between sexes at inclusion but women had higher DAS-28 and HAQ at all follow-ups. Women were more often prescribed DMARDs than were men. In both women and men all pain types were significantly lower at follow-up compared to at inclusion and women reported higher pain than men at follow-ups. The pain types differed significantly from each other at inclusion into TIRA, general pain was highest and hand pain during rest was lowest. There were no significant differences in hand pain related to hand dominance or between right and left hands.

Conclusions: Disease activity, disability and pain were high at inclusion and reduced over the first year. Despite more DMARDs prescribed in women than in men, women were more affected than were men. General pain was highest and not surprisingly hand pain during active grip testing was higher than hand pain during rest that was lowest in both sexes. Although our cohort was well controlled, it was evident that hand pain remains a problem. This has implications for rehabilitation and suggests potential ongoing activity limitations that should continue to receive attention from a multi-professional team.

  • Implications for Rehabilitation
  • General pain and hand pain remain a problem in RA despite today's early intervention and effective disease control with new era biologics.
  • The extent of hand pain evidenced in our work gives a more detailed and comprehensive account of pain status.
  • Higher hand pain during active grip testing than that during rest indicates a potential relationship to ongoing activity limitation.
  • Hand pain assessment can help guiding multi-professional interventions directed to reduce hand pain and thereby probably reduce activity limitations.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2016. 1-10 p.
Keyword [en]
Disability, grip force, hand function, pain, rehabilitation, sex
National Category
Occupational Therapy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-126437DOI: 10.3109/09638288.2016.1140835PubMedID: 26965161OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-126437DiVA: diva2:914564
Available from: 2016-03-24 Created: 2016-03-24 Last updated: 2016-09-29Bibliographically approved

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Thyberg, IngridDahlström, ÖrjanBjörk, MathildaStenström, Birgitta
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Division of Neuro and Inflammation ScienceFaculty of Medicine and Health SciencesDepartment of RheumatologyDisability ResearchFaculty of Arts and SciencesThe Swedish Institute for Disability ResearchDivision of Health, Activity and CareDepartment of RheumatologyDepartment of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
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Disability and Rehabilitation
Occupational Therapy

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