Objectives To determine the association of increased thoracic kyphosis with functional ability, global well-being, and quality of life in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients.
Methods Baseline data from 120 Dutch AS outpatients participating in a trial on the efficacy of spa therapy were used. Patients were selected on having an occiput-wall distance of 0.0 cm (group A) or an occiput-wall distance > = 10.0 cm (group B), defining no and severe kyphosis respectively.
The Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI) (scale 0–10), Dougados Functional Index (DFI) (scale 0–40) and the Health Assessment Questionnaire for Spondylarthropathies (HAQ-S) (scale 0–3) were used to assess functional ability. Global well-being was assessed with a 10 cm visual analogue scale (scale 0–10), and quality of life with the AS Quality of Life questionnaire (ASQoL) (scale 0–18). For each instrument counts that 0 is the best score.
Results Group A consisted of 21 patients (9 men, 12 women, mean age 44 (8) years), group B of 26 patients (23 men, 3 women, mean age 51 (10) years). After adjustment for age and gender with multiple regression analysis similar results were found.
Conclusion An increased occiput-wall distance is associated with deteriorating functional ability. Global well-being and perceived quality of life seem to be generally affected in AS patients, but an increased occiput-wall distance is not associated with further deterioration. The latter merits further investigation.
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