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Favourable social functioning and health related quality of life of patients with JIA in early adulthood
  1. M Arkela-Kautiainen1,
  2. J Haapasaari1,
  3. H Kautiainen1,
  4. I Vilkkumaa2,
  5. E Mälkiä3,
  6. M Leirisalo-Repo4
  1. 1Rheumatism Foundation Hospital, Heinola, Finland
  2. 2Merikoski Rehabilitation and Research Centre, Helsinki, Finland
  3. 3Faculty of Sports and Health Sciences, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
  4. 4Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Helsinki University Central Hospital
  1. Correspondence to:
    Marja Arkela-Kautiainen
    Likolahdenkatu 43, FIN–44150 Äänekoski, Finland;


Objective: To evaluate the social functioning and health related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) in early adulthood.

Methods: The patient files of the Rheumatism Foundation Hospital were screened to identify patients born in 1976–1980 diagnosed as having JIA. HRQoL was measured by the RAND 36-item health survey 1.0; spousal relationships and educational and employment status were assessed by questionnaire. The patients were invited to a follow up study. Age and sex matched controls from the community were identified in the Finnish population registry.

Results: Of 187 patients identified, 123 participated. Spousal relationships, educational level, and employment status were similar to controls. HRQoL in JIA patients was similar to controls except on the physical functioning scale. At follow up 35% of patients were in remission. Patients with active disease had poorer HRQoL in the physical component than those in remission or controls. The extended oligoarthritis group had the lowest physical and mental score in HRQoL compared with the other JIA subgroups. The patient’s own evaluation was the explanatory factor in both the physical and mental component of HRQoL.

Conclusion: Social functioning and HRQoL were similar in JIA patients and age, sex, and municipality matched controls. However, patients with extended oligoarthritis attained significantly lower scores in the physical and mental component of HRQoL than oligo- or polyarthritis patients. Special attention in everyday care should be paid to those patients who have active disease or the extended oligoarthritis type of disease.

  • Finn-AIMS2, Finnish version of the arthritis impact measurement scales questionnaire
  • HRQoL, health related quality of life
  • JIA, juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • MCS, mental component scales
  • PCS, physical component scales
  • QoL, quality of life
  • RAND-36, RAND 36 item health survey 1.0 questionnaire
  • quality of life
  • juvenile arthritis
  • young adult
  • social functioning
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