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Scand J Rheumatol. 2009;38(5):342-8. doi: 10.1080/03009740902913496.

Health status and perception of pain: a comparative study between female patients with hand osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

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Department of Rheumatology, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Oslo, Norway.



Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most frequent rheumatic joint disease and its occurrence is growing due to prolonged life expectancy and an increasing number of elderly individuals in the population. The main objective of this study was to compare the burden of disease, assessed by measures of pain and health-related quality of life (HRQoL), between female patients with hand osteoarthritis (HOA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


One hundred and ninety female HOA patients were compared with 194 female RA patients of the same age. HRQoL was measured with the Arthritis Impact Measurement 2 Scale (Aims2), the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) and its preference-based single index measure SF-6D, the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), the modified HAQ (MHAQ), self-efficacy scales, and visual analogue scales (VAS) for pain and fatigue. We also compared levels of fibromyalgia (FM)-like symptoms (headache, muscle pain, numbness, and concentration problems). Scores were compared by a multivariate analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), adjusted for age, number of comorbidities, and years of education. Sime's procedure was used to adjust for multiple testing.


RA patients had significantly lower levels of physical functioning compared to HOA patients, whereas pain measured on the Arthritis Impact Measurement Scale 2 (AIMS2) was significantly worse in HOA as compared with RA. The HOA patients also had worse scores for FM-like symptoms. SF-6D utility scores in HOA and RA were similar (0.63 and 0.64, respectively).


The overall impact of the disease on HRQoL was similar between RA and HOA patients, based on the SF-6D scores. Physical function was worse in RA patients, but HOA patients reported worse scores in pain measures and FM-like symptoms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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