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Extended report
Occurrence and correlates of fatigue in psoriatic arthritis
  1. J A Husted1,
  2. B D Tom2,
  3. C T Schentag3,
  4. V T Farewell2,
  5. D D Gladman3
  1. 1
    Department of Health Studies and Gerontology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2
    MRC Biostatistics Unit, Cambridge, UK
  3. 3
    Psoriatic Arthritis Program, Centre for Prognosis Studies in The Rheumatic Diseases, University Health Network, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr D D Gladman, University of Toronto, Centre for Prognosis Studies in Rheumatic Disease, Toronto Western Hospital, 399 Bathurst, 1E-410B, Toronto, Ontario M5T 2S8, Canada; dafna.gladman{at}


Objective: To determine the relationship between fatigue and disease-related and psychosocial variables in psoriatic arthritis (PsA).

Method: 499 patients attending the University of Toronto PsA Clinic were administered the modified fatigue severity scale (mFSS). At the time of mFSS administration, clinical and laboratory measures of disease activity and damage were recorded. Linear regression models were used to examine the cross-sectional relationship between disease-related and psychosocial variables and mFSS scores.

Results: At least moderate fatigue occurred in 49.5% of patients and severe fatigue in 28.7%. Univariately the vast majority of variables were significantly associated with mFSS scores. The final multivariate model was composed of female sex, the medical outcome survey short form 36 (SF-36) pain and mental health scales, the number of fibromyalgia tender points, the health assessment questionnaire (HAQ) and “ever used” methotrexate, and explained 54.5% of the variation in mFSS scores. The SF-36 mental health scale played the largest role in the multivariate model, uniquely accounting for 6.6% of the variation in the fatigue severity scale. The disease-related factors significant at the univariate level did not achieve statistical significance in the context of HAQ and pain measures.

Conclusion: Fatigue is a common symptom in PsA, and is associated, in a multivariate model, with pain, female sex, physical functional disability, medication status and psychological distress. Fatigue appears to provide some information that does not overlap with the core set of outcome domains in PsA.

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  • Funding This study received funding from the Canadian Institute of Health Research and the Krembil Foundation and the Medical Research Council, UK, grant U.1052.00.009.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was obtained.