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J AAPOS. 2010 Apr;14(2):163-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jaapos.2009.12.160. Epub 2010 Mar 17.

The importance of visual function in the quality of life of children with uveitis.

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  • 1Emory University, Division of Pediatric Rheumatology, Atlanta, Georgia 30307, USA.



Studies of quality of life (QOL) in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) have focused on changes in musculoskeletal function secondary to arthritis. The role of visual functionality as a result of JIA-associated uveitis and its complications has not been examined. We evaluated the individual impact of physical and visual disability on QOL in children with and without uveitis.


We administered patient-based questionnaires that measured visual function, physical function, and overall QOL to 27 children with JIA or idiopathic uveitis. Demographic data, assessed joint involvement, and reviewed medical records were recorded. Groups with and without uveitis were compared for differences in arthritis and uveitis disease characteristics with use of the Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney, chi2, and Fisher exact tests. Associations between physical or visual function, and overall QOL were measured with use of Pearson's correlation coefficient.


Of 27 patients, 85.2% had had arthritis and 51.9% had had uveitis. The group without uveitis had increased morning stiffness (p = 0.036). Patients with uveitis reported more eye redness (p = 0.033) and photophobia (p = 0.013) than those without uveitis. We observed moderate associations between overall QOL and visual function in the uveitis group (r = -0.579) and overall QOL and physical function in the nonuveitis group (r = -0.562).


This study demonstrates that visual impairment is an important component of QOL in children with uveitis. It suggests that QOL studies should incorporate both visual and physical function measures in their analyses, especially because many children with JIA also suffer from uveitis and visual impairment.

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