Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Rev Bras Reumatol. 2010 May-Jun;50(3):249-61.

Prospective evaluation of the quality of life in a cohort of patients with early rheumatoid arthritis.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

Author information

Rheumatology Department, Hospital Universitario de Brasília, Universidade de Brasília, Brazil.



Few studies have prospectively assessed the tools used to measure quality of life, both generic and specific, in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


The objective of this study was to characterize a population of patients with early RA (less than 12 months after symptom onset at the time of the diagnosis) prospectively followed for the pattern of responses to questionnaires addressing quality of life, the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) and Medical Outcomes Study SF-36 Health Survey (SF-36).


Forty patients with early RA at the time of diagnosis, treated with a standard treatment regimen, were prospectively followed for 3 years. Demographic and clinical data were recorded, and HAQ and SF-36 questionnaires were applied at baseline and after 3, 6, 12, 18, 24, and 36 months. Paired Student t test and Wilcoxon test were used for comparisons (significance level of 5%).


The mean age was 45 years, with a prevalence of the female gender (90%). The average score of the initial HAQ was 1.89, with a progressive decline to 0.77 in the third year (P < 0.0001). Most domains of the SF-36 questionnaire presented significant improvement during the three years of follow-up, except for general health and vitality.


In this population of patients with early RA at the time of diagnosis, the results showed significant impact on quality of life at the time of diagnosis, as measured by HAQ and SF-36 questionnaires. The early treatment of RA seems to be associated with improved health-related quality of life reported by patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Scientific Electronic Library Online
    Loading ...
    Support Center