High prevalence of hand- and wrist-related symptoms, impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis
Agnes F. Hoeksma, Marion A.J. van Rossum, Wilma G. W. Zinger , Koert M. Dolman , Joost Dekker, Leo D. Roorda
Rehabilitation Medicine, Amsterdam Rehabilitation Research Center, Reade, 1040 HG Amsterdam, The Netherlands. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Objective: To determine the prevalence of hand- and wrist-related symptoms and impairments, with resulting activity limitations and participation restrictions in children being treated for juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Design and patients: Cohort study of children, diagnosed in our hospitals between 2003 and 2008 with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, who received standard treatment with regular follow-ups in the same institutions. Patients were asked about hand and wrist symptoms, and underwent a standardized physical examination. For activity limitations, they were asked to complete the Dutch version of the Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire (CHAQ). Concerning participation restrictions, children were asked about any hand- and/or wrist-related difficulties during daily activities.
Results: Of all 152 eligible patients, 121 (80%) participated in the study; 34 boys and 87 girls, mean age 13.7 years (standard deviation (SD) 4.2), mean disease duration 2.6 years (SD 1.4), mean Juvenile Arthritis Disease Activity Score in 71 joints (JADAS-71) score 8 (SD 8), indicating low disease activity. Of these 121, 84 (69%) had at least 1 symptom and 40% had at least 1 impairment. The median CHAQ-total score was 0.5 (mean 0.75 (SD 0.77)), indicating mild-to-moderate activity limitations; and 54% reported having hand- and/or wrist-related problems at school.
Conclusion: Despite low disease activity, many children appeared to have hand- and/or wrist-related symptoms and impairments, with resulting moderate to severe levels of activity limitations and participation restrictions at school.
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