Objectives To evaluate the quality of life of patients affected by systemic sclerosis (SSc) through the application of SF-36 questionnaire and to correlate the results with the disability index of HAQ (DI) and the systemic involvement.
Methods We studied 100 (3 M, 97 F) patients affected by SSc (mean age 60 years, range 39–83, mean duration of disease 6 years, range 1–34). The organic involvement was evaluated by skin score, chest HRCT, electrocardiography according to Holter, Doppler-echocardiography and oesofagogram.
Results In the Table 1 are shown the results of the mean values of the 8 question groups in the control population and in the patients. The 8 question groups are: PA = physical activity, RP = role of physical activity, BP = bodily pain, GH = general health, VT = vitality, SA = social activities, EP = emotional problems, MH = mental health.
A very good correlation was found between the DI and all the scores of SF-36. The skin involvement showed a statistically significant correlation with both the DI (r = 0.3304; p = 0.0008) and the PA score of the SF-36 (r = 0.2635; p = 0.0081). No other statistically significant correlation was found between any of the SF-36 dimensions and involvement of a specific organ.
Conclusion SF-36 showed to be a valid instrument to evaluate the quality of life and the disability of patients with SSc and it seems to correlate with extent of skin involvement.
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