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Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2014 Feb;66(2):253-62. doi: 10.1002/acr.22112.

Improvement in health-related quality of life for children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis after start of treatment with etanercept.

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German Rheumatism Research Centre Berlin, Leibniz Institute, Berlin, Germany.



Improvement in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is an important therapy goal in the treatment of patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). We investigated the 12-month course of HRQOL in patients with JIA after the start of therapy with etanercept and identified its determining factors.


Children with JIA were enrolled in the BiKer (Biologics in Pediatric Rheumatology) registry at the start of etanercept treatment. Children were prospectively followed in the first year of treatment and completed the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) at each occasion. The change in HRQOL was investigated by random-effect regression models. The time-varying variables pain and inactive disease were used for predicting the change in HRQOL. Inactive disease was defined by the Wallace et al criteria and pain was assessed on a visual analog scale (range 0-100).


The children (n = 61) had a mean age of 10.6 years and a mean disease duration of 3.4 years at the start of etanercept. The mean PedsQL total score was 75. The PedsQL total score increased at a rate of 2.8 units per month (P < 0.001) in the first 6 months of treatment, up to a level of 89.7. A low HRQOL score was significantly highly associated with the number of tender joints, functional restrictions, pain, disease activity, and the existence of a comorbid condition at baseline. Inactive disease and reduced pain predicted better HRQOL under etanercept treatment.


HRQOL was dramatically improved in children who started etanercept treatment. Inactive disease and lower pain were important predictors for improvement of HRQOL over time.

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