The functional and psychological outcomes of juvenile chronic arthritis in young adulthood.
David J., Cooper C., Hickey L., Lloyd J., Doré C., McCullough C., Woo P.
The functional and psychological outcome of 43 patients with polyarticular juvenile arthritis was assessed in order to evaluate the impact of disease on their quality of life. Mean disease duration was 19.7 yr (range 10-39 yr), mean age 26.7 yr (range 18-54 yr) with sex ratio 1:3 (male:female). Severe disability was present in 8% of systemic onset, 34% of RF negative (Rh-P), 38% of RF positive (Rh+P) and 86% of extended pauci-articular (ExP) juvenile arthritics-this last high percentage was due to ocular impairment. The Rh+P had more hip (100% of the group) and knee prostheses (31%) compared with Rh-P (77 and 11% respectively). The Rh+P and ExP groups were the most disabled with the highest proportions of patients with currently active disease (85 and 71% respectively). Psychological testing showed that 21% of the patients were clinically depressed and the rate increased (P = 0.06) with the degree of disability. The proportion of patients demonstrating an anxious preoccupation with their disease increased (P = 0.002) with the degree of disability. Despite this, 66% of patients were employed and 38% felt that their arthritis had no effect on their ability to form relationships.