Objectives Fatigue is a cardinal symptom in Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. The Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease Activity Index comprising five questions (RADAI-5) (1) is a patient centred disease activity measurement tool (a questionnaire covering 5 questions) used in every day clinical routine that does not include any question addressing fatigue. It was of interest to investigate if the RADAI-5 is influenced by fatigue as such.
Methods 189 outclinic RA patients (74% female, mean age 63,6 years, mean disease duration 112 months) were asked to indicate the amount of fatigue during the last 7 days on an 11 point numerical rating scale (from 0 representing “no fatigue at all” to 10 representing “extreme fatigue”) and also to complete the RADAI-5 questionnaire. To correlate fatigue and the RADAI-5 Spearman’s rho and kappa were calculated.
Results The mean RADAI-5 amounted to 3.19 (95%CI 2.87 – 3.51) indicating mild to moderate disease activity. The mean fatigue reached 4.11 (95%CI 3.73 – 4.49). Correlation between fatigue and RADAI-5 was moderate with rho 0.584 (p<0.01). Every single of the five RADAI-5-questions is moderately correlated to fatigue (rho: 0.470 - 0.604) showing the best correlation for question 4 (“How do you describe your general health today?” ranging from 0 “very good” to 10 “very bad”).
Conclusions Fatigue is moderately correlated to the general RADAI-5 as well as to the single questions. The best correlation could be shown for question 4 addressing general health. This is in line with another investigation of our group showing a good correlation between fatigue and patient satisfaction with the course of the disease (PATSAT).
Leeb BF, Haindl PM, Maktari A et al. J Rheumatol. 2008 Jul;35(7):1294-9;
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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