Send to

Choose Destination
J Rheumatol. 2009 Jun;36(6):1226-9. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.081057. Epub 2009 May 15.

Clinical correlates of self-reported physical health status in systemic sclerosis.

Author information

SMBD-Jewish General Hospital and McGill University, Room A-216, 3755 Cote Ste. Catherine Road, Montreal, Quebec H3T 1E2, Canada.



Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a multisystem disease associated with impaired health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Our objective was to identify the clinical characteristics that correlate with the physical health status of patients with SSc, as assessed by the Medical Outcomes Trust Short Form-36 (SF-36).


Cross-sectional, multicenter study of 416 patients from the Canadian Scleroderma Research Group Registry. Patients were assessed with detailed clinical histories, medical examinations, and self-administered SF-36. Multiple linear regression was used to assess the relationship between selected demographic and clinical variables and the SF-36 Physical Component Summary (PCS) score.


The greatest impairments in the SF-36 were in the domains measuring physical health, and the mean SF-36 PCS score was 37.5 (+/-11.2). In multivariate analysis, significant clinical predictors of the SF-36 PCS were shortness of breath, number of gastrointestinal problems, skin score, swollen joint count, and age. The final model explained 47% of the variance in the SF-36 PCS.


Clinical characteristics identified as significant correlates of the self-reported physical health status in SSc should each be targets of intervention in order to improve the HRQOL of patients with this disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center