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Br J Rheumatol. 1997 Aug;36(8):884-8.

Quality of life in rheumatoid arthritis.

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Rheumatology and Rehabilitation Research Unit, School of Medicine, University of Leeds.


Patient-completed health status instruments currently available for use with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients lack adequate reliability and responsiveness, making them unsuitable for use as outcome measures in clinical trials. A search of the literature failed to identify a quality of life (QoL) instrument specific to RA. The present study was designed to be the first stage in the development of such a measure. Qualitative interviews were held with 50 RA patients, 25 in the UK and 25 in The Netherlands. The interviews indicated that RA has a detrimental effect on many areas of life, including moods and emotions, social life, hobbies, everyday tasks, personal and social relationships, and physical contact. Transcripts of the interviews formed the source of items for the RAQoL, the first RA-specific QoL instrument.

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