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J Rheumatol. 2013 Oct;40(10):1756-65. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.121505. Epub 2013 Aug 15.

Stressful life events antedating chronic childhood arthritis.

Author information

1
From the Division of Rheumatology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Saskatchewan; and the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate associations between antecedent stressful life events and occurrence of juvenile arthritis (JA).

METHODS:

The study population comprised patients with JA referred to a pediatric rheumatology clinic between 1981 and 2010. A questionnaire, which was developed as a screening tool by the clinic, was completed at the first clinic visit by patients' parents and, for comparison, by parents of unrelated age, sex, geographically, and temporally matched healthy controls. The entire questionnaire captured a broad array of clinical, demographic, psychosocial, and environmental data, including questions about stressful life events from 686 patients with JA and from 1042 controls.

RESULTS:

Patients were more likely to have experienced a serious upset (OR 4.81; p < 0.0001), a currently ill family member (OR 2.29; p < 0.0001), separated parents (OR 1.96; p < 0.0001), or difficulties with interpersonal relationships (OR 2.54; p < 0.0001) prior to first clinic presentation compared to controls. Children with oligoarticular JA were more likely than controls to have experienced a serious upset (OR 3.46; p = 0.008), an ill family member (OR 3.79; CI 2.02, 7.11; p < 0.0001), or problems with interpersonal interactions (OR 3.32; p < 0.0001). Children with polyarticular JA were more likely to have experienced a serious upset (OR 5.68; p < 0.0001), separated parents (OR 2.66; p = 0.001), a deceased parent (OR 6.75, p = 0.017), or problems with interpersonal relationships (OR 2.39; p = 0.009). No significant differences were observed when comparing systemic JA patients to controls.

CONCLUSION:

Strong associations between stressful life events antedating the first clinic visit of patients with JA indicate that life event stresses should be identified and addressed when first encountering and managing children with JA.

KEYWORDS:

JUVENILE IDIOPATHIC ARTHRITIS; JUVENILE RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS; PSYCHOSOCIAL FACTORS; STRESS

PMID:
23950190
DOI:
10.3899/jrheum.121505
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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