Managing spondyloarthritis: Focus on physical morbidity

Managing spondyloarthritis: Focus on physical morbidity

Functional limitations are greater and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is poorer in persons who have spondyloarthritis (SpA) than in those who do not, even after adjustment for age, sociodemographics, and comorbidities. Many factors are modifiable (eg, severity and duration of disease, response to current therapy, treatment-related adverse effects, medical comorbidity, socioeconomic factors), and targeted interventions may improve function and HRQOL in patients with SpA.

Singh and Strand conducted a large, population-based survey of 70,334 veterans. They compared the functional status (activities of daily living [ADL] and HRQOL scores) among 3 groups: patients with several forms of SpA arthritis (reactive arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis); those without SpA; and age- and sex-matched US population norms.

Veterans with SpA had significantly more functional limitations in ADLs—especially in walking, dressing, and transferring—and significantly lower physical HRQOL scores (eg, physical functioning, role physical) than those without SpA and age- and sex-matched norms. However, the psychosocial HRQOL scores were similar between persons with and without SpA, suggesting that the greatest impact of SpA is physical.

The authors suggested that comprehensive patient care be focused on the physical limitations of SpA.

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