Objectives The objective of this study was to evaluate fear of falling in patients with established RA and its relation to disease activity.
Methods A cross-sectional study that included patients with rheumatoid arthritis. We collected the following data: age, sex, duration of disease, body mass index (BMI). Fear of falling was evaluated by the Falls Efficacy Scale-International score (FES-I) which consists of 16 different activities, scored using a four point scale (1=not at all concerned, 2=somewhat concerned, 3=fairly concerned and 4=very concerned). The summed scores for the 16 activities for each participant were calculated. Scores of ≥23 indicated a significant fear of falling. Disease activity was measured with swollen and tender joint count (SJC28, TJC28), pain on a visual analogue scale (VAS pain), patient and evaluator global assessment of disease activity (PGA, EGA), HAQ disability index (HAQ-DI), 28-joint DAS (DAS-28) and the clinical and simple disease activity indexes (CDAI, SDAI). Correlations were used to assess the relationship between fear of falling and disease activity.
Results Thirty-three patients were included. The mean age was 49.3±10.5 years with female predominance (n=29 (87.9%)). The mean disease duration was 9.9±7.5 years.
The mean FES-I score was 37.4±15.1 and 69.7% (n=23) of patients had significant fear of falling. The mean VAS pain was 5.3±2.5, the PGA was 6.2±2.1 and the EGA was 5.7±1.7. The mean HAQ-DI was 1.3±0.8. The mean DAS28 score was 5.5±1.3. The mean CDAI was 29.9±13.6 and the SDAI was 31.6±13.7.
FES-I was significantly correlated with TJC28 (r =0.52, p=0.02), PGA (r=0,56, p=0,01), EGA (r=0,39, p=0,025), HAQ-DI (r =0.70, p=0001), DAS28 (r =0, 38, p=0.029), CDAI (r =0.48, p=0.005) and SDAI (r =0.52, p=0.002).
Conclusions This study suggests that fear of falling is frequent in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and demonstrated that fear of falling is significantly correlated with disease activity.
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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