Background Patients with RA generally receive more attention by rheumatologists than patients with widespread OA. We wanted to examine if this difference in level of care is based on differences in severity of health status.
Objectives To compare age- and sex matched OA and RA patients regarding levels health status.
Methods Fifty-one patients between 50 and 70 years of age with generalised osteoarthritis (OA) including hand OA, previously referred to a rheumatology outpatient department, underwent a comprehensive clinical examination including completion of several self-reported health status questionnaires. Among these were AIMS2, SF-36, MHAQ, pain and fatigue on VAS. These OA patients were compared with 51 RA patients matched for age and gender. The RA patients were recruited from the Oslo RA register and had previously completed identical questionnaires. Groups were compared with the McNemar tests (categorical variables) and paired analyses (continuous variables).
Results Mean (SD) age was 66.1 (4.4) years, 4(8%) were males. Pain measures were numerically higher in OA than RA with statically significant difference for 2 (AIMS2 and SF-36) out of 3 measures (Table 1). No statistically significant differences were found within the dimensions of physical and mental health, social functioning and self-efficacy.
Conclusion OA patients report more severe pain than RA patients matched for age and gender, whereas other dimensions of health status appear to be similar, with a tendency of worse physical health in RA and worse mental health in OA patients.
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