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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2012 Mar-Apr;54(2):e77-82. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2011.06.038. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

Impact of rheumatic diseases and chronic joint symptoms on quality of life in the elderly.

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  • 1Faculty of Medical Sciences, Gerontology Program, State University of Campinas, Campinas, SP, Brazil.


Musculoskeletal disorders are the major causes of the pain in the elderly population. Rheumatic conditions restrict participation in activities and mobility, as well as cause difficulties in the execution of self-care tasks. The assessment of health related quality of life (HRQOL) is an important indicator of the impact of rheumatic diseases on the physical, mental and social aspects. This study aims to analyze the influence of rheumatic diseases and chronic joint symptoms on the quality of life of the elderly (n=2209) aged 60 years or over. The effects of rheumatism and joint symptoms on quality of life were investigated by the Outcome Study Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), and this analysis was adjusted for age and sex. The univariate analysis of variance and analysis of covariance (ANOVA and ANCOVAS) were used for statistical procedures, p≤0.05. Rheumatic diseases affected: functional capacity (F(1, 2012))=10.9 and pain (F(1, 2012))=34.77. Joint symptoms affected all components of the SF-36: physical functioning (F(1, 2012))=10.9; physical problems (F(1, 2012))=72.61; pain (F(1, 2012))=164.29; general health (F(1, 2012))=71.95; vitality (F(1, 2012))=55.78; social aspect (F(1, 2012))=73.14; emotional aspect (F(1, 2012))=49.09 and mental health (F(1, 2012))=44.72. There was a significant impact of rheumatic diseases on physical health, and that joint symptoms affected self-evaluations of physical and mental health. These results will contribute to a better understanding of this systemic disease and will be used for planning effective interventions.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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