Background Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune, chronic disease that may start with the involvements of small joints like hand and fingers in many patients. Hand problems can vary considerably from mild arthralgia to severe deformed hands. The most common problems are pain, stiffness, weakness, numbness and difficulty in daily living activities clinically. Inhibition in hand functions effects daily living activities and increases disability level.
Objectives To investigate hand functions and disability level in women with SLE.
Methods 27 women with SLE, 27 women with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and 26 healthy controls were included in this study. Grip and pinch strength was assessed with dynamometer, dexterity was assessed with nine hole peg test (NHPT) and disability level was assessed with Turkish version of Disability Arm Shoulder and Hand Questionnaire (DASH). Differences between these measurements were analyzed.
Results There were significant differences between patients with SLE and healthy controls (p<0,05) and also between patients with RA and healthy controls for all measurements. However, there were significant differences only in gross strength for both hands between patients with SLE and RA (p<0,05).
Conclusions Hand functions and disability level were significantly different between patients with SLE and healthy controls although these measurements were generally similar between patients with SLE and RA. Hand involvement, disability and disfunction are known for patients with RA in literature. According to our results, hand disfunctions of patients with SLE are as prominent as patients with RA. So, in the treatment of SLE, hand functions should not be ignored and should be included in rehabilitation programme.
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Disclosure of Interest None declared